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Ehsan Mani: BCCI’s threat is laughable

Calcutta: Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani has issued a strong statement in reaction to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Patel’s revelation that the Indian Board had threatened to form a parallel world cricket body before the restructuring of the ICC was agreed upon.

Mani has termed the idea as “laughable”.

Patel, on Sunday, said that the BCCI thought of forming “a second ICC of its own” but with England and Australia agreeing to give India the lion’s share of the revenue, the situation was avoided.

Mani, on Monday, said in a statement: “The threat by BCCI that it would have formed a parallel ICC is laughable… If the ICC, supported by ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), CA (Cricket Australia), Pakistan and South Africa, had the moral strength to stand up to the threats from BCCI, BCCI would have, without doubt, backed off once it realised that it could not make money by playing only against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, New Zealand or the West Indies.”

He added: “I have no doubt that Sri Lanka would not have supported the BCCI in such a situation. It is the opposition that matters when it comes to commercial values. The BCCI would have found out that its so-called financial clout was a paper tiger.”

Criticising the BCCI further, Mani said: “It is not the BCCI that generates money for cricket out of India, it is the attraction of the game for the Indian broadcasters and major corporations and the hard-headed professionals who run these businesses. With only second tier opposition, the real value of BCCI’s financial contribution to world cricket would have been exposed.”

He also slammed the ECB and CA for their roles in the matter.