The opposition to the revamp plan of the International Cricket Council (ICC) piloted by India, Australia and England grew stronger on Sunday with former West Indies captain Clive Llyod and ex-ICC top officials Malcolm Gray and Malcolm Speed joining hands in demanding withdrawal of the controversial proposal.
The trio, along with former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairmen Shahryar Khan and Lt Gen (retd) Tauqir Zia, have joined hands with former ICC chief Ehsan Mani in asking for withdrawal of the proposal, which will cede most of decision-making to the so called 'Big Three'.
Gray, a former ICC chief, and Speed, a former ICC CEO, have broken away from their national board's position by taking the stand against the proposal. Lloyd was a one-time chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee as well as ICC match referee. Cricket Australia chief Wally Edwards has defended the plan. (Related: Cricket Australia's defence)
According to a report in Cricinfo, the former top officials have signed a formal letter and sent it to the ICC and member nations requesting that the "big three" proposal be immediately withdrawn. (Also read: BCCI backs overhaul plans of ICC)
All signatories agreed that the ICC needed to re-examine the conclusions of the 2012 Woolf Report into ICC governance, which recommended, among other things, an improvement in governance standards, the appointment of independent board directors and greater transparency. (Other nations react: South Africa angry | Sri Lanka mulls opposing plans | West Indies worried | Pakistan furious )
Following a long period in senior roles with Cricket Australia (CA) when it was known as Australian Cricket Board (ACB), Gray served as the president of ICC from 2000 to 2003. Speed was the chief executive of the ACB/CA from 1997 until 2001, then served the same role with the ICC from 2001 to 2008.
The letter was accompanied by Mani's analysis of the proposal, which raised many concerns about the conflicted interests of its authors -- the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), CA and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) - and the revenue modelling they are suggesting, the report said. Mani said that under the new plan, the game's developing nations stood to lose an enormous percentage of projected revenue, relative to their current allocation.