LAHORE: Dave Richardson, the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive, has criticised those persons who did nothing during the ICC meetings over the years and helped ‘Big Three’ - India, Australia and England - take control of the world body. "There were people attending meetings, sometimes seemingly sleeping at them, not participating, not contributing. When that happens there is going to be a power vacuum and people who have the authority are going to take control," he has been quoted as saying on a cricket website. Richardson, no doubt, has pointed finger at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials who remained ‘napping’ and never ‘contributed’ during the crucial ICC meetings and weakened the position of the PCB over the years.
He said India had indulged in ‘gamesmanship’ and conceded it was ‘in the driving seat’ during negotiations over the controversial restructuring of the ICC. Earlier this year, the BCCI, the ECB and Cricket Australia proposed a radical overhaul of the ICC, including increased shares of global revenue for all three and powerful positions on a newly-formed executive committee. Although there were concerns from other countries, outside the Big Three, they were all eventually talked around into accepting the various proposals.
BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel had stated that the Indian board had threatened to form a parallel world cricket body if its demand for a greater revenue share was not met. Although Richardson did not confirm that when questioned on the BBC’s Test Match Special, he did not deny that the BCCI had played a forceful hand. "India were saying they need to have more of a say, we need more money’. So it was a negotiation; it turned into a negotiation," he said. "There was gamesmanship, certainly some people have more influence than others and more authority. Certainly India are in the driving seat when it comes to being in a good position at the negotiating table, bearing in mind their tours of every country are the extreme revenue generators."
Richardson also suggested that the new structure was not an outright power grab and instead just a way of formalising what had unofficially been taking place for some time. He added that the full ICC Board, which is made up of the 10 Full Members and three Associate representatives, remained the main decision-making group and not the new executive committee.
"The reality is although there’s been a lot of talk about change, it is the people who were having the most influence of the ICC board in the past that will still have the most influence going forward," Richardson said. "It is a clash of ideologies essentially; there are people who think the ICC should be a more independent body and others think it should remain a members’ body. More than anything this has been a wake-up to other countries who have sat back and let things happen, having no real say at meetings."
Richardson also defended the appointment of N Srinivasan as ICC chairman despite India’s Supreme Court ordering him to stand down from his BCCI role as part of corruption investigations in the Indian Premier League (IPLC). "The Supreme Court has not gone as far as to say he should not be involved with ICC or be the next chairman," said Richardson. "What we do know is the Supreme Court charges to be investigated are totally unsubstantiated at this point in time."
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