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Associate, Affiliate nations livid over ICC allocating more funds to Ireland, Afghanistan

New Delhi: Anger is simmering among ICC's Affiliate and Associate nations over reduction of funding in the 'Big three' era, a report has claimed.

A report in 'ESPNCricinfo', based on an analysis of funding to these nations, says that ICC was giving more money to Afghanistan and Ireland as compared to other nations. The additional funding is from the share of other Associate and Affiliate nations. Both receive USD 1.7 million a year from being on the ICC rankings table and now receive close to USD 3 million from Associates revenue a year each. But other Associates feel aggrieved that this increase is coming from the existing Associate pot.

"Their funding success has come at the expense of other Associates and Affiliates," said Malcolm Cannon, the chief executive of Cricket Scotland. Ross McCollom, the chairman of Cricket Ireland, advocated that the ICC should no longer fund Afghanistan and Ireland from the Associate pot.

"My view is Associates actually can't afford to have Ireland and Afghanistan in their pot. If Ireland and Afghanistan were taken out from that pot and paid above the line that means there's a lot more money to be spread," McCollom said.

Analysis has found that, following changes to the ICC distribution model agreed last year and changes in how money is allocated, more than 50 of the 95 non-Full Members of the ICC face, in real terms, a funding reduction in 2015-16 as compared to 2014-15, the report said.

The scrapping of the Target Assistance Performance Programme (TAPP), which was meant to encourage proactive cricketing bodies among the Associates and Affiliates, will also take its toll. Scotland's funding, for example, will decrease by USD 250,000, to USD 1.3 million, once the scrapping of the TAPP is accounted for. The Netherlands, the UAE and Kenya are other prominent countries that have suffered an overall funding reduction, while China, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and the USA all received annual increases of over USD 100,000 each.

An Associate representative was quoted as saying that "the situation killing the smaller countries. Whether some will survive I don't know." Another described the ICC's approach as "slash and burn and contrary to the vision to make cricket the world's favourite sport."

Under ICC reforms last year when India, Australia and England got more control over the cricket body, it was claimed that restructuring was good for the financial health of all full and Associate and Affiliate members.

Cannon was one of several Associate officials who urged ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar that the new ICC distribution model awards too much funding to the
Big Three. Another Associate representative expressed hope that modest changes in the distribution of ICC funds could be forthcoming.

"If India did decide to give up two per cent of the amount they get, I have a feeling England might be willing to give up one per cent. That's a lot of money for us."

Meanwhile a number of Full Members are also understood to be increasingly angry that promises made during the ICC restructuring have not materialised. It was recently announced that the Test Cricket Fund of USD 12.5 million over eight years promised to the seven Full Members beyond Australia, England and India would be reduced to USD 10 million per country.

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