Posted on June 29, 2011

Indian Cricket Plots Control of World Game

Scyld Berry, Telegraph (London), June 25, 2011

The ICC’s governance review committee, heavily influenced by the BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India), has proposed changes to the ICC constitution that would pave the way for the ICC president to rule indefinitely, and for two successive presidents to come from the same country.

Sharad Pawar, the former head of the BCCI, is the ICC president but under the present regulations, an Indian could not succeed him.

The proposal, which would allow India to impose their will on the cricketing world, needs the support of most of the 35 Associate members–and 38 votes out of 50 in the voting council–and it could well get voted in such is India’s financial muscle because of their vast television audiences.

The dangers of an Indian ruling ICC as a president-for-life are far-reaching for world cricket. India are opposed to the new umpiring Decision Review System, although it is approved by almost everyone else. The Indian Premier League would also be guaranteed a six-week window in March and April, so that no international cricket could be played in that period.

This would mean England’s schedule would be restricted–and potentially their income too.

The World Cup will also be affected. The ICC has stated the 2015 World Cup will be a 10-country event, but another motion at this week’s ICC meeting is for four Associates to be included in a 14-country event, like last time, in spite of far too many one-sided matches. Michael Vaughan, the former England captain said: “The Indians are basically taking over.”

David Morgan, the last ICC president, added: “I think the ICC has been well served by fixed-term presidencies. The dangers that arise from open-ended terms of office are well known.”

Geoffrey Boycott said: “Many countries that play cricket are frightened to death of India’s financial power. You’ve got TV stations queuing up in India to get the rights to beam the coverage [of their tours] in India and they pay a lot of money for that.”