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Proposal for ICC re-vamp bad for WI says director
A working paper for a revamped International Cricket Council (ICC) will come before members as early as the ICC’s quarterly meeting in Dubai on January 28 and 29 and if it is passed, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) director Baldath Mahabir, believes cricket in the region could suffer.
The major news coming out of the working paper produced by the ICC's finance and commercial affairs committee, is that Test cricket be played using a two-tier system. If this happens the West Indies will be in the second division based on current rankings . Another major recommendation by the committee which includes WICB president Dave Cameron, is that the major power brokers of the revamped ICC be England, India and Australia.
Even under the proposed two tiered system England, India and Australia will not be demoted. Teams like West Indies and New Zealand would find themselves in the second tier and this is worrying for Mahabir. If this new working paper is passed, seven of the 10 full member nations would have to support it.
While not being able to state the WICB’s position on it, Mahabir gave his personal view. “Anytime you have a situation where people are looking to divide and rule it could never be good. Looking at the proposals, this is a situation where power broking and sharing will go to three of the members and this cannot be healthy.
“We are at a point where we need to expand the game and by bringing a model that is not inclusive would do damage to the sport down the road. This model would only lead to monopolising of the sport and I cannot see how this could be good for cricket.”
Mahabir said the WICB is sure to discuss this soon to come up with a position. “We have not set the date for our next ordinary meeting but an emergency meeting may be called. This is very serious as with West Indies playing second tier cricket, we may lose interest among the fans and this could prove detrimental.”
Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe, commenting on the issue in Cricinfo, said it would be sad for the West Indies because they have made a tremendous contribution to the sport of cricket.
“Cricket is cyclical and to ask the West Indies to play second tier cricket will be unfair. They had ruled the sport for quite a while and now although they are not doing that, they have shown glimpses of getting back over the last year. They have fallen away a bit over the last few months but a nation that has done so much for cricket to suffer that fate now will be cruel.
“That is there national sport and to receive a blow like that would hurt the game in that region.”
Summary of working paper
1 New executive committee (ExCo) to be set up with permanent memberships for BCCI, CA, ECB, to override all other committees.
2 Promotion and relegation in Test cricket, with exceptions made in the cases of BCCI, CA, ECB.
3 ICC to be delinked from FTP arrangements, with bilateral agreements only taking over.
4 New finance model of ICC revenue distribution.
5 Key positions in ICC—ICC chairman, chairmen of ExCo and finance & commercial affairs committee—to be nominees of BCCI-CA-ECB.
6 Reinstatement of Champions Trophy in 2017 and 2021 in place of the World Test Championship.