Just three days ahead of the International Cricket Council meeting in Singapore that could decide the fate of the impending overhaul of the ICC, Board of Control for Cricket in India's president N Srinivasan has defended the controversial 'Position Paper' and claimed that it is aimed to strengthen world cricket on the whole.
As the BCCI stands to gain the most from the revamp of the revenue model, with its share of revenue rocketing from USD 63 million to USD 766 million, Srinivasan goes on to claim in an interview to ESPNCricinfo that, "A strong India with a vibrant commercial structure is good for world cricket."
Talking about the Members Participating Agreement (MPA), a programme that ethically binds Test-playing nations to play against each other over a period of time, Srinivasan said BCCI had a strong objection against it and raised valid reasons which were recognised by the other Boards. He, however, refused to delve further into the shortcomings of the MPA. (Also read: New Zealand board backs BCCI's plans)
The revamp proposal initially suggested a two-tier system where India, Australia and England will be permanent members of the upper tier by virtue of their financial might. The two-tier system, that suggested relegation, has been considerably watered down after Bangladesh and the West Indies majorly objected to it. (When BCCI website got hacked into)
Refuting claims that the ICC overhaul was BCCI's way of becoming the 'Big Daddy' of world cricket, Srinivasan said that it was just about making a draft and three out of the 10 member nations had gone ahead and prepared it. He also remained defiant that the proposal is flexible and is up for any sort of changes and suggestions, some of which have already been made.
On suggestions that the new proposed system -- that suggests a five-member executive committee with permanent seats for India, Australia and England --Â takes the ICC back to a veto-like process, that once existed and was ironically opposed by the BCCI, Srinivasan was quick to rebuff it and said, "There is no veto. There will be two other members at all times and anyone can become the chairman after the term of the first chairman gets over." Srinivasan also clarified that the executive committee was not supreme. It still reported to the Executive Board.
Srinivasan also stressed on the on-field as well as the monetary gains that Associate Nations stand to achieve with the new proposal. According to him, each Associate nation could receive an amount close to 100 million USD, which was earlier allocated to all the Associates put together. He also went on to point out that a bilateral agreement system will allow them to go beyond the realm of playing each other and get an opportunity to be pitted against stronger sides, something that has been their prerogative.
As it stands, the only opposition to the 'Big Three' is coming from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and South Africa while the likes of West Indies and New Zealand have taken the bait of the financial gains that could come their way with the new proposal.