MUMBAI: On the eve of the Supreme Court hearing on the implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations, there seemed to be no end to the BCCI’s overflowing cup of woes.
While waiting for the Chief Justice to announce a verdict in the wake of the Lodha Committee’s last status report, the Indian cricket board was also at wit’s end over the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) recent Working Group meeting in Adelaide that is learned to have discussed the redistribution of world cricket rights revenue yet again.
The BCCI had written to the ICC chief executive David Richardson in the weeks gone by, saying that it wanted to participate in the Working Group meeting of the parent body, but were told in return that it is the (ICC) Board that appoints the Working Group and therefore “an appropriate platform to raise the request would be when the ICC Board meets again”.
The BCCI once again wrote to the ICC saying that if that was the case why was the BCCI allowed to be a part of the first such Working Group meeting that was held early this year in Dubai? “The ICC has no answer for this,” a senior functionary in the Indian Board said.
The BCCI’s growing worry is that ICC chairman Shashank Manohar has deliberately kept them out of the picture in order to allow the Working Group – that includes bosses of the England Cricket Board (Giles Clarke), Cricket Australia (David Peever), Bangladesh Cricket Board (Nazmul Hossain) and Singapore Cricket (Imran Khwaja) – to once again discuss the world cricket revenue model, which the Indian Board had rejected in the Cape Town meeting in October.
A source who has details of the Adelaide meeting held during the recent Day & Night Test between Australia and South Africa, confirmed to TOI that financial redistribution was indeed discussed alongside governance restructuring of the ICC. “But you have to understand that the Working Group meeting doesn’t mean anything. Anything discussed in the Working Group eventually has to be tabled at the ICC’s Board meeting for a final ratification,” the source added.
BCCI’s grouse, nevertheless, is that it is being kept out of a discussion that pertains to a financial rejig of the game’s revenues in which India happens to be a major player. The Board blames Manohar alone for this and says he is playing to the gallery while ignoring India’s interests.
However, there are those who say that the BCCI has missed a trick here too. “When Anurag Thakur was appointed chairman of the Cricket Development Committee of the ICC, he should have stayed adamant and pushed for a seat on the Working Group,” says another individual in the know of developments.