The Telegraph
Thursday , January 30 , 2014
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Numbers in the bag, Big Three at ease...

Calcutta: It’s not official, but seven of the 10 Test-playing nations are understood to have signed a “document,” committing themselves to the complete restructuring of the International Cricket Council (ICC), June onwards.

A top source of The Telegraph, who personally saw the “document” in Dubai, on Wednesday afternoon, made the revelation.

India, Australia and England, therefore, already have the numbers even if South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka don’t play ball at the next meeting of the ICC’s executive board, in Singapore, on February 8.

According to the top source, Bangladesh has signed, joining the Big Three, the West Indies, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

[That the Big Three had the support of the West Indies, New Zealand and Zimbabwe was reported in these columns in the lead up to the ICC’s executive board meeting, on Tuesday.]

The top source, in fact, pointed out that, on Wednesday morning, “nobody” dissented when a “show of hands” was sought at the board meeting of the ICC’s business arm, Development International or IDI.

Currently, the structure is such that members of the ICC’s executive board also sit on the board of Development International. Besides the 10 Test-playing nations, there are representatives of three Associate Members.

“Alan Isaac, the ICC president who doubles up as chairman of the board of the business arm, asked for a show of hands, seeking an endorsement of the agreement in principle to the changes, spelt out in Tuesday’s media release...

“Everybody raised his hand, with Narayanswamy Srinivasan (the Board of Control for Cricket in India president) doing so on the video link from Chennai...

“I was present and didn’t see either South Africa or Pakistan or Sri Lanka dissenting. I suppose games are being played, keeping the local constituency in mind,” the top source said.

Of the three, South Africa isn’t faced with the issues affecting Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The Pakistan Cricket Board hasn’t hosted a team on home soil for almost five years, while Sri Lanka Cricket is in desperate need of funds.

No matter how strongly they feel about certain developments, neither Pakistan nor Sri Lanka can make a huge issue.

It’s in the interests of some, it seems, to keep both Pakistan and Sri Lanka “under pressure” for different reasons.