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Fica tears into proposals

Calcutta: The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (Fica) chairman Paul Marsh, on Wednesday, came out strongly against the proposals made by the “working group” of the ICC’s finance and commercial affairs committee, that would give more power to India, Australia and England.

Terming some of the proposals “clearly unconstitutional”, Marsh voiced his concern about the move to give more control of the game to these three countries, while the other nations may suffer. He appealed to the other seven ICC board members to reject the proposals.

He said in a statement issued by Fica: “After reviewing the working group’s proposal, the Fica board and our members are extremely concerned about the future of international cricket.

“This proposal is designed to vest control of the game in the three boards of India, Australia and England. It is not in the best interests of the global game, and we have real fears that it will only serve to strengthen the ‘big three’ countries, whilst the rest are left to wither on the vine.

“There are a myriad of issues with this proposal. First and foremost, as board directors of the ICC, the chairmen of the BCCI, Cricket Australia and ECB, owe fiduciary duties to the ICC, that include putting the interests of the ICC ahead of those of their individual Boards, a duty to remain loyal to the ICC and avoid conflicts of interests and to act in good faith to promote the success of the ICC. We seriously question whether all of these duties have been met.”

Marsh went on to add that the proposals regarding scheduling will give undue advantage to the “big three”.

“…The reassurance to the boards outside the ‘big three’, that they are guaranteed to earn more in the next rights cycle than they have in the current one, ignores the fact they are almost certain to lose more money from a re-shaped Future Tours Programme (FTP)… when the 'big three' inevitably pick and choose who, when and where they will play.”

He mentioned that most countries rely heavily on Indian tours for sustainability. “Of significance is the section that offers a guarantee from CA and ECB to play three Tests and five ODIs per cycle to each of the top eight members, yet there is no mention of any such guarantee from the BCCI. Each of the member countries, including Australia and England, rely heavily on Indian tours for sustainability of the game in their country.

“What chance do the majority of members have of survival if the BCCI decides not to tour their countries on at least a semi-regular basis?

“The result of this is that the gap between the 'big three' and the rest will get bigger and bigger, which will undermine the competitiveness of future ICC Events and therefore the value of rights in future cycles…

“…The result of this will be the countries that need ICC income most will receive the least, whilst the ‘big three’ will get the lion’s share even though they are already financially healthy because of the value of the rights to their bilateral series...”