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A strong India is good for world cricket: BCCI president

Posted on Feb 05 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 5 : Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Narayanaswami Srinivasan has defended the board's role in pushing for a power-shift in the International Cricket Council (ICC) contending that "a strong India is good for world cricket".

Srinivasan, who is spearheading India's claim for a higher percentage of the ICC's global revenues, rubbished suggestions that the BCCI and its two key allies, Cricket Australia (CA) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), are planning to take over world cricket.

Srinivasan said the proposed restructuring in the ICC is aimed at making the world body more financially stable and a more inclusive organisation. The draft proposal, which is still objected by some of the member countries was presented during ICC Board meeting in Dubai Jan 29.

"The BCCI is quite happy to be involved with the leadership of cricket. We will embrace this ICC in the new structure, which will be good for cricket as a whole," Srinivasan told Cricinfo.com.

If the proposals are accepted by the ICC Board when it meets in Singapore this month, BCCI will get the biggest chunk of revenue in the range between USD 63 million and USD 766 million.

Contrary to media reports, Srinivasan maintained that all the member countries said that none of the other boards had objections to India's demand for a higher share and because BCCI's contribution to cricket's global revenues cannot be denied.

"A strong India with a vibrant commercial structure is good for world cricket," he said.

Srinivasan also said the BCCI would have never signed the Members Participating Agreement (MPA) in its existing form.

"I don't know how it got signed. I would not have signed the last MPA. There are a lot of disadvantages. We had made it clear that we could not sign the MPA in the current form."

Sriniavasan refused to explain what the "disadvantages" and said the issues were "substantial".

"The other members in the committee realised that India's concerns were legitimate and therefore it led to a discussion, out of which all these proposals came," he said.

Asked if the Future Tours Programme (FTP) is scrapped, whether smaller members will be at the mercy of the bigger boards, Srinivasan said: "The current system is merely an indicative structure without any guarantees. It is not a legal document, it was never binding. The FTP bilateral agreement will be stronger. And we have already sat down during the Dubai meeting and discussed it with a number of countries, and the proposed FTP for going forward will work on the right cycle."

On the contentious issue of permanent membership for India, England and Australia in the proposed executive committee, Srinivasan refuted allegations that it amounted the return of the veto-era.

"There is no veto. There will be two other members at all times and anyone can become the chairman after the term of the first chairman gets over.

"And more importantly, this will be another committee of the ICC. It will report to the ICC board on which all the members sit. And the ICC board will be remain supreme, with the all the decision-making authority," he said.

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