Associate players say that the way the ICC makes money is bad for the game’s growth.
The poorer associate member countries of cricket are worried that the proposed new international revenue distribution model, which heavily favours the game’s superpowers, could stop the game from growing.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suggested a new revenue-sharing model for the 2024–2027 cycle, which will be voted on at the July board meeting in Durban.
Leaked numbers to Cricinfo show that India would get 38.5% of the money made from cricket, mostly because of its contribution to the commercial income pot.
The ICC has 12 full members and 94 associate members. The 12 full members would get 88.81% of the money, and the 94 associate members would get the rest.
The ICC hasn’t said anything about the numbers, but on Monday, general manager Wasim Khan said that under the proposed plan, all members would get more money than they have in the past.
Pakistan has already said that they don’t like the plan as it is now, and other, less developed cricketing nations are starting to feel the same way.
Sumod Damodar, one of the three associate member representatives on the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee, said that the plan would not meet the needs of associate members.
“As a representative of an associate member, I would be disappointed if what is being proposed and talked about is likely to happen,” he told Reuters.
“It wouldn’t work for associate members for a number of practical reasons.”
Damodar, the vice chairman of Botswana’s board, said that associate members who have one-day international (ODI) standing need more money to keep up their high-performance programmes, while the others need money to close the gap.
Damodar said that more countries would step up if they were given the money they needed. He gave the examples of Nepal’s quick rise in men’s cricket and Thailand’s rise in women’s cricket.
Tim Cutler, the head of the Vanuatu Cricket Association, said that the suggested model would make the gap between cricket’s rich and poor even bigger.
“The new model gives even more weight to the bigger cricketing nations, and there is a chance that the proposed changes will make this imbalance worse,” Cutler told Reuters. “This puts the future of the game in even more danger.”
“The sad truth is that cricket won’t grow beyond its current corners of the world […] if the game’s global funds aren’t spread out more evenly with the goal of making the game bigger.”
Full members have 12 of the 17 votes on the ICC board, so Cutler said that taking money away from themselves or making independent choices for the good of the game would be like “turkeys voting for Christmas.”
When asked for a response on the concerns of the associate members, the ICC did not give one.
Stronger and richer
Former ICC President Ehsan Mani said that the governing group didn’t have a clear plan for how to help cricketing nations grow, even though some of them had a lot of money-making potential.
The previous head of the Pakistan Cricket Board told Reuters, “One of the biggest risks for world cricket is that it depends too much on one country, India, for a big chunk of its income.”
“Countries like the United States, the Middle East, and, in the long run, China would do a lot for the ICC, its partners, and the game around the world. The world of cricket would be better and stronger because of it.”
India getting most of the ICC’s money “makes no sense” to Mani, so he pushed for all full members to get the same amount.
“World cricket needs strong West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan,” he said.
“Cricket in Ireland and Afghanistan has also been hurt by a lack of money. Some of these countries won’t be able to keep playing cricket if they don’t put money into it. This will hurt cricket around the world.