Australia's plan to seize joint-control of world cricket "has cleared one potential road block with the West Indies reluctantly surrendering to the coup," according to Robert Craddock of the Brisbane COURIER-MAIL. Australia, India and England "have formed an controversial alliance which will attempt to hijack control" of the Int'l Cricket Council at a meeting in Dubai Tuesday and Wednesday. The Big Three need seven out of 10 votes "to pass a resolution which would see them become the sports' new power brokers." The West Indies, despite deep-seated opposition to the radical proposal, have reportedly "gone to water behind closed doors and will vote for the proposal" which many officials sense "could be passed in some form or sent back for further refinement." The West Indies "are in a parlous financial state and cannot risk falling out of favour with India" (COURIER-MAIL, 1/28). FAIRFAX NZ NEWS' Mark Geenty reported "opposition to it has been vocal and widespread." Former ICC President Ehsan Mani of Pakistan has written a letter "calling for it to be scrapped." Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe "joined the chorus calling for the proposal to be withdrawn" Monday when he emailed ICC President Alan Isaac. The letter read, "I endorse wholeheartedly the letter by Mr Ehsan Mani to the ICC regards their position paper." Mani's analysis of the ICC's draft finance and governance proposal "includes an alarming calculation of proposed revenue sharing which sees India taking the biggest slice of the pie." Under the proposal, India would receive $568M, England $173M and Australia $130.5M. Mani's letter read, "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" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 1/28). The PTI reported former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja has advised the Cricket Board "to accept the working proposal on restructuring of world cricket." Raja: "Eventually it is a proposal that will be accepted. Pakistan must make best use of this situation and try to not only get long-term financial benefits but also more series against these three nations." The PCB "has not made its stance clear but indicated it will be resisting the takeover bid of world cricket by the three nations" (PTI, 1/27).
WIDESPREAD CRITICISM: In Mumbai, former England captain Michael Atherton penned a column for the Times Of India criticizing the move. In it, Atherton wrote, "The restructuring of the distribution of the money, which is at the heart of the proposal, is based on an unfair view of ICC events, which enshrines the principle that the money belong to the countries from which they emanate. Essentially, it says that the money generated by India for these international events belongs to India (and England's to England, etc) and that the value of these events without India's participation is, essentially, worthless." He added, "Philosophically this is highly debatable, nor would it stand up to hard scrutiny" (TIMES OF INDIA, 1/27). Former South African Cricket board CEO Ali Bacher said, “The Position Paper put forward by BCCI, ECB and CA if accepted would lead to division and strife in world cricket as never seen before. ICC member countries should never forget the animosity that existed, particularly in the subcontinent and the Caribbean, when England and Australia had veto rights before 1993" (GULF NEWS, 1/27).
FACE TIME: THE NATIONAL's Osman Samiuddin reported the wheeling-dealing "has already begun." On Saturday, when most board officials from around the world arrived, "was the first time since they saw the report that they had come face to face." Once the Chief Executives' Committee meeting was over, "the real meetings began." In the words of one board head, this was the domain where the BCCI “set up shop” (THE NATIONAL, 1/26).