We shouldn’t underestimate India’s contribution to world cricket: ICC boss

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
New Delhi, Nov 30 : The International Cricket Council (ICC) should not underestimate the contribution that India — a country of 1.3 billion people and companies based there provide financial support to the world body — makes to world cricket, said new ICC chairman Gregor John Barclay on Monday. He, however, doesn’t subscribe to the ‘Big Three’ formula that the Indian cricket board initiated a few years ago.

It is estimated that multi-national companies and local corporate houses based in India contribute well over 70 per cent of financial might to the ICC through sponsorship. Also, India has one of the most glamorous teams that helps generate revenues through participation in ICC tournaments.

“I don’t subscribe to the Big Three concept. I know that there were arrangements back in 2014 put in place that you could consider favoured, in some respects, the more powerful three countries. But they were all rolled back quite a few years ago. Back in 2016, they changed England, by and large, and Australia certainly get the same amount of money than anybody else under the distributions (from the ICC),” Barclay said in a virtual media interaction.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) led the formation of the ‘Big Three’ model that provided a lion’s share of ICC money for the BCCI, England, and Australia. The three argued that they contribute to the ICC more than any other members, so they deserved the biggest share of the money. However, that formula was dismantled in 2015 when India’s Shashank Manohar succeeded Srinivasan as ICC chairman, and brought about a more acceptable method of distribution of money from the ICC kitty.

“India gets more, and I understand why, a point of view of note. What I would say is that the money flows as a consequence of getting a whole lot of other things done. I think we need to sit down and finish the ICC’s global strategy for the coming eight to ten years, once we finalise and agree what that strategy might look like. Then I think we need to start to build the bilateral program (between countries) to have a look at what moneys might flow out of that,” said 59-year-old Barclay.

New Zealander Barclay, who took over the reins on November 24, said that one area that needed investment was women’s cricket.

“Looking back at the strategy, we (ICC) need to decide what we can distribute. One of the areas clearly, if we need to grow the game globally, we need to invest in women’s cricket. (But) I don’t think we should underestimate the contribution that India makes to the game and the importance that India have – a country that has 1.3 billion people,” he said.

“And New Zealand, for example, has five billion people. You can understand that there’s a slight difference in the way you look at distributions. But it’s just one aspect. Let us get through the strategic path worked out, and what a funding model might look like,” Barclay added.


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