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Mani gets support from Lloyd

Calcutta: Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd and former presidents of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Ehsan Mani and Malcolm Gray have signed a formal letter to the ICC and member nations requesting that the draft proposals be immediately withdrawn.

The letter, written by Mani in the wake of his damning 13-page assessment of the draft finance and governance proposals due to be voted on by the ICC’s executive committee, has also been signed by former ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, and former Pakistan Cricket Board presidents Shaharyar Khan and Lt Gen. Tauqir Zia.

Former South Africa captain Dr Ali Bacher and Saber Chowdhury, former Bangladesh Cricket Board president, have also endorsed Mani’s concerns. Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has informed Alan Isaac, the ICC president, that he supported the letter sent by Mani and others. “I endorse wholeheartedly the letter by Mr Ehsan Mani to the ICC regards their position paper,” Crowe said in an e-mail to Issac, according to a media report.

All signatories agreed that the ICC needed to re-examine the conclusions of the 2012 Woolf Report into ICC governance, which recommended, among other things, an improvement in governance standards, the appointment of independent board directors and greater transparency.

The letter, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, was accompanied by Mani’s analysis of the proposals, which raised many and varied concerns about the conflicted interests of its authors — the BCCI, CA, and the ECB — and the revenue model they are suggesting. Among his reservations was the fact that under the new plan, the game’s developing nations stood to lose an enormous percentage of projected revenue, relative to their current allocation.

Mani estimated that under the proposal, Associate and Affiliate Members would lose more than $312.5 million in projected revenue, an amount that would instead be redistributed largely to the boards of India, Australia and England.

“The biggest gainers are BCCI, ECB and CA. In addition, ICC events for the period 2015-2023 will be held only in India, England and Australia. These Boards will receive hosting fees for the events in addition to the ICC distributions they propose,” Mani wrote. “A point that also needs to be addressed is; why does BCCI need more money at the expense of other countries?

“If cricket is to grow and develop around the world more investment is required in the Associate & Affiliate countries, not less”

Some of the other areas of concern raised are as follows:

The paper raises serious governance issues including lack of transparency and conflict of interest.

The authors of the paper (BCCI, ECB and CA — collectively referred to as the Three Boards) benefit significantly in financial terms from their proposals and promote their own self-interests.

The directors, president, chief executive and management of the ICC have had no role and input in, or knowledge of the preparation of the paper even though it comes from a working group of the ICC Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee. It also appears that some members of the F&CA Committee were not invited to join in the discussions leading to the paper and were not even aware of the discussions taking place.

Key objectives and challenges that the Three Boards have identified are not new ... These can be dealt with by the existing ICC Board, of which the Three Boards are an integral part. There is nothing in the issues that the ICC faces which can justify the members of ICC handing over control of its affairs to the Three Boards.

The Three Boards do not address governance issues in terms of their own accountability, check and balances on them to safeguard the interests of the other full, associate and affiliate members, avoidance of conflict of interests, discharging their fiduciary responsibility to the ICC etc. In addition, there are concerns about the quality of governance of one of the Three Boards.

The proposal (as regards revenue sharing) put forward in the paper is fundamentally flawed.