ICC bosses push for new FTP as helpless 'Big Three' oppose

TOI

TOI

Author 2019-10-14 17:19:00

Highlights

  • Manu Sawhney is learnt to have pushed the new FTP for approval despite reservations from CA, ECB, NZC and WICB.
  • Rahul Johri is learnt to have informed ICC that "BCCI elections are presently underway and it will only be prudent for the new board members to deliberate and provide their inputs on this issue before any final decision is taken."
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MUMBAI: While Sunday turned out to be full of political theatrics in the corridors of the Indian cricket board as Sourav Ganguly got nominated for the post of BCCI's new president, a bigger drama was at play in Dubai, the headquarters of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

On the agenda at the ICC board meeting in Dubai on Monday is the controversial new Future Tours Program (FTP) of the governing body, waiting to be passed by members such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa. The BCCI, crying foul and clearly opposed to the idea of this new FTP, cannot help but watch the drama in distress as ICC boss Shashank Manohar continues to have his way.

At the Chief Executives meeting of the ICC on Saturday, Manu Sawhney - the CEO of the governing body - is learnt to have bypassed other member CEOs attending the meeting and pushed the new FTP for approval despite reservations from Cricket Australia (CA), the England Cricket Board (ECB), New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, also present at the chief executives meeting, is learnt to have opposed Sawhney's decision and informed the ICC that "BCCI elections are presently underway and it will only be prudent for the new board members to deliberate and provide their inputs on this issue before any final decision is taken."

However, sources at the ICC meeting told TOI that Johri and CEOs from other member boards were sidelined by Sawhney's office and the FTP has now been tabled as the top agenda for the board meeting that is currently on in Dubai.

"Here, the issue is that BCCI is being illegally represented at the ICC by Amitabh Choudhary from Jharkhand. The COA has barred him from functioning as acting secretary and he has no business being in Dubai. But it is at the ICC chairman's behest that he's gone there. Now, he will most likely abstain from casting a vote on the FTP matter and ICC will have enough votes to pass it," sources tracking developments said.

As reported earlier by TOI, the ICC CEO had presented the plan of a World Cup every three years and a World T20 every two years - an idea that India, England and Australia were clearly opposed to considering it effects their bilateral arrangements. However, citing an unsubstantiated reason that "more ICC tournaments will mean more money for member boards", Sawhney has been driving the idea forward.

"What Manohar and Sawhney don't understand is that this decision will drive a wedge through the cricketing fraternity across the globe. From member boards to broadcasters to sponsors - this idea is not acceptable to anyone except boards like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh that are expecting a sudden windfall", sources said.

The onus, on Monday, will therefore be on Choudhary as he attends the board meeting at the ICC, which the COA says "he wasn't supposed to".

At the board meeting, if Choudhary abstains from speaking against the idea of pushing the FTP - which is the reason, sources say, he's been invited to Dubai in the first place - it will be another huge setback for the BCCI because ICC will have the necessary votes to move forward.

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