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Asian Big Four meet today, to push for fresh terms
- 2011 WORLD CUP
- Difficult for Australia-NZ to garner requisite backing

New Delhi: The Asian Test-playing nations ' India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh ' are firm about renegotiating the financial terms if they get to host the 2011 World Cup. The four have expressed their intent collectively, as also Australia-New Zealand.

The ball is now with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its Executive Board has to take a decision. Later, in the ratification stage, the entire body is going to come into the picture.

“Under the existing arrangement, the host nation gets $ 10 million... Well, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) can get much more for hosting one ODI... That’s an absurd sum,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph on Saturday.

Even if that isn’t increased, the BCCI will be calling for an “equitable distribution” of the $ 40 million to be made available if Asia gets the tournament collectively. As the source put it: “India may host 20 matches, with Bangladesh getting five... Surely, both can’t get the same amount ($ 10 million each)...”

Just how strongly the Big Four should push for renegotiation is to be finalised when the heads of the Boards (and special invitees) meet here on Sunday. Hopefully, by then, the mandatory compliance-bit would have been taken care of.

Each nation interested in hosting the World Cup has to “fill up” the compliance requirements, one component being that the government “guarantees” visas to everybody cleared by the ICC.

After 9/11, that’s going to be difficult. Today, it’s a different world.

Among other things, the heads of the Big Four will also discuss means to “expand” the support base. As the awarding of World Cups is guided by a Binding Resolution, the host(s) must get the backing of seven of the 10 Full (Test-playing) nations.

Even if the ICC refuses to renegotiate the financial terms and isn’t inclined to award the 2011 World Cup to Asia, the tournament can’t go to Australia-New Zealand either. After all, at the most, those two nations can get the support of six Full members only...

Bottomline is that Asia, which has already hosted the 1987 and 1996 editions, can’t be ignored.

Footnote: The Big Four, it seems, also want the ICC to “fund” the improvement of infrastructure ' on the lines of the grants given to the West Indies Cricket Board, which is hosting the 2007 World Cup.

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