N Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said the recommendations of the Woolf Report, submitted to the International Cricket Council (ICC) last year, were not incorporated in the ICC’s restructuring of key elements because the report was biased.
“The BCCI rejected the Woolf committee report because it was biased. Mr Woolf was supposed to consult every board before tabling his report. Only on the evening (before the report was to be tabled), did he have a chat with me,” Srinivasan told The Hindu on Monday (February 10).
On Saturday, the ICC’s executive board had approved administrative and structural changes at a meeting in Singapore , including the formation of an Executive Committee (ExCo). This, despite the Woolf Report suggesting a more independent decision-making body.
Eight of the ten Test nations voted in favour of the proposals, while Sri Lanka and Pakistan abstained. When asked if he would try to convince Pakistan and Sri Lanka to come on board, Srinivasan said it was for the entire ICC to work on. “It’s an ICC resolution and eight members have approved it. It (reaching out to Sri Lanka and Pakistan) is not just my responsibility,” he said.
South Africa, who had voiced concerns about the proposals earlier, eventually also voted for the proposals, and Srinivasan said this was likely due to their doubts being clarified. “Maybe some members had some lingering doubts on the proposals. When the doubts got clarified, the proposals found support.”
Srinivasan also denied accusations that India, England and Australia – who will stand to gain the most financially from the changes – had formed an oligarchy, and held greater power than the others, while defending permanent seats on the ExCo for the three nations in the five-member committee. “There are sections of media and certain groups that are opposed to the BCCI,” said Srinivasan. “In this whole arrangement, please point out where is the veto. There is nothing wrong (in the Executive Committee having BCCI, CA, and ECB as permanent members), these are recommendatory committees. The final decision about ExCo and F&CA (Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee) is taken by the Board where every member is present. Where is the question of oligarchy?”
Srinivasan also reiterated that the revamp would benefit the game and ensure its financial health. “I think it’s good for cricket overall, good for the financial health of all full, associate and affiliate members. There is meritocracy,” he said.