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WICB still to meet

South Africa, Pakistan oppose proposed changes

 While some countries have already voiced their concerns about the ICC’s “working group position paper,” the West Indies Cricket Board is yet to take a public position on the suggested radical changes to world cricket.

At the International Cricket Council’s board meeting on January 9,  full member boards were presented with a position paper which among other things proposed the creation of a new executive committee (ExCo) to be set up with permanent memberships for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Cricket Australia (CA) and the England Cricket Board (ECB), to override all other committees. The draft also caters for bilateral agreements for tours, replacing the Future Tours Programme.

Reports since news broke of the draft, have suggested that the proposals at the meeting were

unscheduled, and that members were called in without any agenda other than a hint that “financial matters” would be discussed. 

Asked to comment on the proposals yesterday, WICB CEO Michael Muirhead told the Express: “At this time I don’t think I am going to comment just yet on it. The Board will meet and discuss it. The position of the WICB has not been consolidated as yet and I don’t think we will make any statements until after the ICC meeting later this month.”

The paper, drawn up by a working group of the ICC’s Finance & Commercial Affairs (F&CA) committee, is due to be put to the ICC Executive Board at its quarterly meeting in Dubai on January 28-29. 

The proposals would need seven votes out of ten to be passed. 

While the WICB has so far witheld comment,  New Zealand Cricket director Martin Snedden suggested the BCCI-ECB-CA plans were not necessarily a bad thing for world cricket.

However, Cricket South Africa (CSA) responded in a statement, saying: “Without addressing the merits of the proposal insofar as it concerns constitutional amendments and changes to ICC competitions, these proposals should first be referred to the relevant ICC committees or sub-committees for proper consideration and to make recommendations to the ICC Board.”

Despite South Africa’s position as the No. 1-ranked Test side in the world, if the proposals were adopted, their projected share of future revenues at every stage would fall below than even that of the Pakistan board.

The open CSA letter, copied to ICC Full Members and media outlets, also stated that, “although there is nothing to prevent a review of the ICC funding model or finances, the proposal self-evidently is inextricably tied up with a fundamental restructuring of the ICC, which has far-reaching constitutional implications. The draft proposal is, therefore, fundamentally flawed as regards the process and, therefore, in breach of the ICC constitution.”

“In the circumstances,” the CSA said, “we propose that the draft proposal be withdrawn immediately, given that the proper procedures have not been followed.”

Meanwhile, a member of the Pakistan board told the Reuters news agency that, “chairman Zaka Ashraf has been told Pakistan should not support any such changes as it would divide the cricket world and effectively give all veto powers to India, Australia and England.” 

The ICC draft also proposes having promotion and relegation in a new two-tier Test system.

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