There has been more criticism than support of the draft proposal put up by India, England and Australia, now known as the Big Three in world cricket, which aims at these three cricket boards getting a larger share of the International Cricket Council revenue.
Sample these figures that ESPN Cricinfo put out in an article on Wednesday and you will probably understand the level of the big bullies factor which lesser nations will have to cope with on the table of cricket power: “In its last cycle the ICC reported US$1,564 million in revenue. If revenue stayed roughly the same going forward, the cost savings outlined above would find their way into the big three’s pockets, the BCCI taking some $63 million. In other words, the likes of Estonia and Peru will not play any international cricket, so the world’s richest cricket board will have an extra $63 million to pay some of the world’s richest athletes.”
If the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is responsible for 80 per cent of the ICC’s earnings, then it deserves to get a thicker piece of the cake. England and Australia will agree to a lesser share. However, it won’t be right to get a big share as well as refuse to be relegated to the lower tier in Test cricket in case their performances dip. The same holds true for England and Australia, who were the original big bullies of world cricket.
In any case, the value of smaller nations cannot be underplayed because they are part of cricket’s development. Only 13 countries play 50-over international cricket; sixteen are part of the Twenty20 international set-up. Clearly, that number must rise for cricket to establish itself as a truly global sport.
Will India, England and Australia eat into funds that need to be enhanced in order to globalise the game further? There’s a fat chance of that happening.
Jagmohan Dalmiya, who played a big role in putting the ICC on a firm financial wicket when he was the body’s chairman, didn’t just make ICC rich. He also ensured developing nations go for the extra run as it were by funding them through the profits of the Champions Trophy, a tournament which he should be credited for.
Is there a Dalmiya-like individual amongst the cricketing Czars? We hope so.