ICC and BCCI configured to block speakers over a new FTP
MUMBAI: A meeting of the board 'conveniently' scheduled by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai on Monday became a thorn in the meat of the BCCI just hours after nominations for the main council positions were presented here in Mumbai.
The ICC, directed by the president Shashank Manohar and executive director Manu Sawhney, had recently been pushing for the approval of a new Future Tours Program (FTP), one that carries the idea of a World Cup over 50 every three years (instead of four) and a World T20 every alternate year.
That momentum has now come to an end, as the ICC board is ready to approve the new FTP without the approval of India, Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies. If that happened, sources highly located in the Indian cricket administration told TOI on Monday: BCCI will not sign the Membership Participation Agreement (MPA) with the ICC.
Former BCCI presidents Anurag Thakur and N Srinivasan, who clearly disagrees with Manohar's operating style, are not in the mood to give in this time. Once the new office holders take office on October 23, the BCCI seems ready to resume its long dispute with the world governing body.
In 2017, India was about to terminate its Members Participation Agreement with the ICC before the Champions Trophy, before the COA intervened. The president of the ICC must not forget that this time there will be no such obstacle. India's interests in the ICC cannot be ignored and they (ICC) cannot go ahead with this (FTP) when the BCCI is busy restructuring. What is the rush? A senior BCCI official told TOI.
On Saturday, Sawhney learned that he had set aside the executive directors of the member boards to push the FTP and place it on the board meeting agenda.
The representative of India at the ICC, Amitabh Choudhary, who was prohibited by the Committee of Administrators from carrying out his duties (due to a legal case), landed in Dubai on Saturday night.
He has obviously landed there at the behest of Shashank. In his absence, BCCI would not have been a participant. But now it is there and if it refrains from voting against FTP, ICC will have enough votes from members like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa will see it, sources said.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri , also present at the meeting of executive directors, it was learned that he opposed Sawhney's decision and informed the ICC that the BCCI elections are currently ongoing and it will only be prudent for new board members to deliberate and contribute their contributions on this subject before any final decision is made.
But the question that BCCI members ask themselves in their country is whether it is already too little and too late.
It is believed that the idea behind Sawhney's search for a World Cup every three years and a World T20 every alternative year is revenue maximization. But what is the purpose of these revenues if it ends up opening a gap in world cricket and its main stakeholders? They add the sources.