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BCCI on the brink of pulling out from all ICC events in 2015-2023 cycle

The BCCI is likely to send a letter to the ICC as early as Tuesday regarding their non-acceptance of the MPA.

The letter to the ICC, as of now, will only issue a threat

What’s the story?

The BCCI is likely to send a letter to the International Cricket Council (ICC) as early as on Tuesday regarding their non-acceptance of the 2014 ICC Members Participation Agreement (MPA). The new revenue model proposed by the ICC reduces India’s share to $293 million from a staggering $570 million offered under the 2014 ‘Big Three’ model.

However, it was revealed that the ICC had given a settlement offer of an additional $100 million to the BCCI regarding this issue. But, Amitabh Choudhary, the Indian representative present in the ICC board meeting rejected it straight away.

However, the offer still stands and the SGM is supposed to have a discussion on it. In simple terms, it can be said that turning down the MPA means pulling out of all ICC events in the ongoing 2015-2023 rights cycle.

After the meeting, in an interview with the Indian Express, Amitabh Choudhary had explained why the new $293 million revenue share, as per the newly proposed model, is not in terms with BCCI’s liking. “That’s not in proportion; anywhere even close to the contribution that India makes. So it’s not fair.”

He rejected ICC’s revised deal even of an additional $100 million and when he was asked about the reason for doing so, Choudhary said: “It is far less than what India deserves fairly.”

The Context

It all started at the ICC Board meeting in Dubai on Wednesday when India were outvoted by a 13-1 margin on the newly proposed ICC financial model. The votes that went against India included that of nine Full Members, three Associates and the ICC Chairman himself.

The details

A majority of BCCI members have agreed upon sending a letter to the ICC regarding this matter.

As per Clause 6.4 of the MPA, an ICC member board can terminate the “Agreement as whole (but not in part only)” if “there are any material changes that are materially adverse to Member to (i) the structure of the Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee of the IBC (ICC Business Corporation Board); (ii) the structure of the Executive Committee of the ICC Board; (iii) the membership of the Commercial Affairs Committee of the IBC Board or the Executive Committee of the ICC Board; or (iv) the percentage of ‘Contribution Costs’ of IBC receivable by Member as approved by the IBC Board; or (d) if there is any other material change to any of the resolutions passed by the ICC Board in Singapore on 8th February 2014 (as amended by the ICC Board in Dubai on 9th April 2014) that (i) has not been approved in advance by Member; and (ii) has a materially adverse effect on Member…”

A source explained to the Indian Express how pulling out of the MPA will have large scale implications to India’s interests. 

“If you pull out of all international cricket (ICC events), you will have to face consequences. Mind, not one country has supported India (in the ICC voting). The IPL could be in jeopardy, for the overseas cricketers need NOCs from their respective cricket boards to participate in the tournament. After the additional $100 million offer, the amount of loss is not worth fighting with the whole world,” said the source.

The BCCI can more than make up for that by playing three extra bilateral matches per year. Broadcast rights value for India’s bilateral matches is Rs 45 crore per game,” the source added further.

What’s next?

The letter to the ICC, as of now, will only issue a threat. However, if the BCCI’s demands are not met, the members may decide to pull out of all ICC events in the 2015-2023 rights cycle at the Special General Meeting (SGM) on May 7.

The events include the upcoming Champions Trophy in England, starting June 1, the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand early next year, the ICC Women’s World T20 in November 2018, the men’s 50-over World Cup in England in 2019 and the 2023 50-over World Cup in India.

Author’s Take

Being the most powerful cricket body, BCCI have the luxury to risk everything to force the ICC to meet their demands. The reason being the majority of revenue earned from this sport is mainly dependent on the Indian market. So, if BCCI pulls out from the MPA and consequently all ICC events, then the international board will incur huge losses.

However, the BCCI must remember that they will also have to incur a significant amount of loss as well. The IPL will face a lot of trouble as the participation of overseas players will become tougher as they would require NOCs from their respective boards.

Moreover, India may lose all kind of contacts and friendships from the entire cricket world. To put it in simple terms, the decision to back out may result in the BCCI getting isolated from the rest of the world. 

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