There is unhappiness among the associate (smaller) members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) governing body about its proposed new revenue distribution model, which for the 2024-27 cycle is likely to be weighted heavily in favor of the larger cricket-playing nations, especially India.
Earlier in May, Cricinfo cited leaked figures as showing that of all revenue to be distributed to the ICC’s member nations during the next commercial cycle, 38.5% will go to India alone. In total, the 12 full members of the ICC would take 88.8% of the distributed money, with the rest going to the much larger pool of associate members.
This 11.2% would equate to $67.1 million being split between all the associate ICC nations, of which there are 94, according to the body's website. The 12 full members, on the other hand, would share $532.8 million.
The ICC has so far not commented publicly on these reported figures, although earlier this week general manager Wasim Khan said all members will get more funding under the new model.
Sumod Damodar, one of three representatives for the associate members on the ICC board, told Reuters: “If what is being proposed and discussed is likely to be the outcome then, as an associate member representative, I would be [disappointed].
”There are numerous practical reasons why it would be inadequate for associate members.”
Ehsan Mani, the Pakistani former president of the ICC, added: “One of the biggest risks for global cricket is its over-dependence on one country, India, for a major part of the revenues generated.
He added: “Countries like the US, [those in] the Middle East, and in the longer term China, would bring enormous benefits to the ICC, its members, and the global game. World cricket would be stronger and richer for it.”
He commented that a lack of investment in the ICC’s associate members would “make the game unsustainable and world cricket will be poorer for it.”
The reported model projects the Board of Control for Cricket in India to earn $231 million per year from the next cycle. The next highest earner would be the England Cricket Board, which would receive $41 million (6.89%).
The revenue split is expected to be voted on internally and then confirmed following the ICC’s next board meeting later this year in Durban, South Africa.
Full members have 12 out of 17 total votes on the ICC board, meaning they control the decision-making process of the governing body.
The distribution figures cited above are based on the ICC’s estimated earnings over the next three years, with the governing body set to bring in $3.2 billion from media rights sales alone over that period.
The vast majority of that sum is coming through a deal with India’s Star pay-TV broadcaster.
During the current rights cycle, which began in 2015 and runs until later this year, the total broadcast income of the ICC only came to $2.1 billion.
Cricinfo reported that the distribution levels to each country will be based on four criteria – cricket history, performance in ICC events (both men’s and women’s) over the past 16 years, contribution to the ICC’s commercial revenue, and an equal split among a portion of the revenues between full members.
Meanwhile, the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) is reportedly in talks with the ICC over the use of players’ image rights for ICC commercial purposes.
Cricbuzz has reported that the various national players' unions have given FICA permission to negotiate with the ICC over compensation for the governing body using player-based images and videos for promotional purposes during its tournaments and major events.
FICA contains representatives from England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the West Indies, among others. The Indian Cricketers’ Association, however, is not affiliated.
Tom Moffat, FICA’s chief executive, is reported as saying: "Players around the world have asked us to address several issues on their behalf relating to the use of their collective commercial rights over the past few years. We are having positive discussions with the ICC and others to make sure there is more clarity for everyone, including around global events moving forward.”
Cricbuzz has cited an ICC source as indicating that this is business as usual and that for each cycle there is an agreement around image and video rights with players who take part in ICC events.
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