Good times are ahead for West Indies cricket according to the president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Dave Cameron.
The Jamaican made the comments at a press conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain yesterday. He said WICB's earnings from International Cricket Council (ICC) events is projected to increase by 100 percent under the new finance structure.
"On February 8, the West Indies Cricket Board supported the key principles related to the governance, finance and structure of the International Cricket Council (ICC) at the board's executive committee meeting in Singapore. There are a number of benefits to come to West Indies cricket from this new set up. It will allow the West Indies to grow and develop the game in the Americas more robustly.
"Now there is more revenue for the full members with a Test match fund and a clear pathway for associate countries to achieve Test standard. The new financial set up will allow the WICB to negotiate on a bilateral basis tours to other countries.
"Tours increase revenue and this will redound to benefit of West Indies cricket. We can now use these funds to invest in our development and longer First Class tournament.
"We project an increase of 100 percent from ICC events over the next eight years. The Future Tours Programme (FTP) is over a period of eight years, negotiated by members and compiled by the ICC.
"We as full members are required to play each full member twice home and away over four years. Currently the West Indies have the most unfavourable allocation of matches based on the current FTP. You would notice that we have been playing New Zealand and Bangladesh almost every year for the last three years. Now these tours are not profitable and this is why we have a major deficit.
"The newly approved proposals will allow WICB to increase the number of profitable tours rather than unprofitable ones, that we are required to have under the FTP.
"Based on the bilateral proposals WICB will be able to negotiate fees when the West Indies team plays in away series. The honourable Pat Rousseau and Clarvis Joseph who have commented in the proposals in the regional media all voted against this 15 years ago.
"The opportunity now comes where we can negotiate fees. We are confident we can negotiate more for our brand. Under the new proposals we will also be able to access the Test match fund to assist us when we have unprofitable tours.
"The WICB has already secured commitments from the major Test playing nations for the next eight years. Increased opportunity to play these countries will lead to better television and sponsorship deals."
On the matter of demotion and the two-tier Test system, Cameron expressed confidence in the system. "The top nine Test teams will continue to play matches in the top tier, so the risk of relegation is for the 10th ranked team. We are ranked 7th as you know, so the immediate threat of being demoted in not there. With increased revenue we will be in a position to grow the sport and then not being ranked 10th."
Cricket Australia (CA), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England Cricket Board (ECB) will be in control of the ICC under the new proposals but the WICB will retain all its power. "The WICB has not relinquished any power, we remain a full member with full voting rights on all matters. The presidency is on a rotational one year basis and we are in the mix with that as well.