The BCCI is in the process of revoking the 2014 ICC Members Participation Agreement (MPA) and a letter in this regard is likely to be sent to the global body as early as on Tuesday. The seemingly drastic step comes six days after India was outvoted 13-1 (nine Full Members, three Associates plus the ICC chairman) on the proposed new ICC financial model at the Board meeting in Dubai last Wednesday. The new model reduces India’s revenue share to $293 million. The BCCI’s share under the 2014 ‘Big Three’ model stood at $570 million.
The Indian cricket board has been given a settlement offer of an additional $100 million by the ICC Board, which Amitabh Choudhary, India’s representative to the ICC Board meeting, rejected upfront. The SGM, however, will have a discussion on the offer, which is still on the table. Simply put, revoking the MPA means pulling out of all ICC events in the ongoing 2015-2023 rights cycle.
The Champions Trophy in England, beginning June 1, is the first in line followed by 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. At the moment, however, the BCCI letter to the ICC just issues a threat but the members might agree to exercise the option at the May 7 Special General Meeting (SGM).
It is learnt that a decision to send the letter to the ICC has been agreed upon by the majority of the BCCI members. 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…”
But revoking the MPA could have huge ramifications and might be detrimental to India’s interests also. The formal decision is with the general body and the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) cannot override the decision of the SGM.
If the committee is not happy with the decisions taken at the general body, it will have to move court, seeking intervention. But an insider tried to put things in perspective.
“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.
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,” said the source.
During a recent interview with this paper, Choudhary spoke about the BCCI’s disapproval of the $293 million revenue share as per the new model. “That’s not in proportion; anywhere even close to the contribution that India makes. So it’s not fair.” Asked about his disagreement with the additional $100 million settlement offer, he said: “it is far less than what India deserves fairly.”
Some BCCI insiders fear India’s international isolation in case the MPA is revoked. But Choudhary had categorically rebuffed that during the interview. “The force of the market — India can never get isolated. India will never get isolated irrespective of what happens in the future.”
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