x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan lodge official dissent on ICC proposals

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf said on Tuesday the three boards had officially requested that the Australia, England and India ICC restructuring proposal be deferred, reports Osman Samiuddin.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf confirmed on Tuesday that Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Bangladesh were objecting to India, Australia and England's ICC restructuring proposals. Arif Ali / AFP
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf confirmed on Tuesday that Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Bangladesh were objecting to India, Australia and England's ICC restructuring proposals. Arif Ali / AFP

The cricket boards of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa have signaled their opposition to proposals that seek to restructure the governance and finance distribution models of the ICC, and have officially written to the governing body asking for the proposals to be deferred.

After a day of intense lobbying by the three boards behind the proposal on Monday - Cricket Australia (CA), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) - that could be a potential game-changer as all boards sit down today in Dubai for the first of a two-day meeting at ICC headquarters.

The existence of an official opposition – and it’s shape – emerged late on Monday evening after an exhausting day of meetings and more meetings between all boards; the requests for deferral – based on needing more time to consult the changes – are the first real signs of disapproval by boards to the proposals.

One of the boards had requested a deferral even before the meetings began but it was only last night that the number of opposers became important. A fourth board, The National understands, is also in the mix to join the dissenting three. They have also, it is believed, asked for “further discussion” on some matters in the resolutions but it is not yet clear which way they may go.

Before entering ICC HQ in Dubai for the meeting, Zaka Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that four boards shared one stance. “I will vote for Pakistan and whatever is in Pakistan’s interests,” he told ARY TV.

“We have to see what is in our interests when we vote. Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka, we all have one stance. Four of us have the same stance, let’s see what we vote inside. We will stick to our stance.”

The requests do not, however, in any way represent a defeat of the proposals. At best they will buy the smaller boards more time to take in what the full implications of such changes are. Already last night it had become clear that the big three were offering concessions on some points, including a change in the shape of their proposed new Executive Committee and potentially dropping the ideas for a system of relegation and promotion altogether.

The numbers are going to be crucial in the meeting. The fact that the changes called for in the resolutions - seen by The National - are so comprehensive, in terms of how the ICC should be structured and how finances should be distributed as well as creating a new commercial body entirely means that some of the resolutions could be seen as ‘special resolutions.’

For those to be passed, eight out of ten votes will be required, as Article 6.12 a)3)b) of the ICC constitution details: “Resolution proposed at Conference or at a Special Meeting shall be deemed to have been carried as a Special Resolution only if not less than three-quarters of the aggregate number of votes exercisable by all the Full Members shall have been cast in favour of the Resolution, irrespective of whether or not all of the Full Members shall have actually been present in person or by proxy.”

That, as the situation currently stands, seems unlikely. If that is the case then it will create further difficulties for the big three, as most resolutions will need seven votes in the affirmative to pass. The situation led one official to ponder last night whether the CA, ECB and the BCCI even choose to table the vote, given that they will not have secured the support.

The two-day meeting began at ICC HQ in Dubai on Tuesday morning.

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