/ 1 February 2012

ICC top job to be split

Future International Cricket Council (ICC) presidents are likely to have reduced powers after the governing body’s board recommended turning the job into an ambassadorial role and creating a new position of chairperson.

Under the proposals to split the job, backed unanimously by the board at a two-day meeting in Dubai that concluded on Wednesday, the elected chairperson, rather than the president, would have the power to lead the board.

“The presidential role is one that will be filled on a rotational basis by every one of the members and the best man will be elected to lead the board [as chairperson],” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told reporters.

The recommendation will be discussed further at the next board meeting in April before being considered for adoption at the ICC’s annual conference in June with a likely implementation date of 2014.

Lorgat denied the proposed new system would increase the power of the stronger countries within the ICC, such as India and England, the financial powerhouses of the game.

“There’s every chance it could be the case [that the chairperson could come from within the current board] but there’s every chance it could come from outside,” he said.

“There will be a nominations committee that will determine a process to elect the best man for the job.”

New structures
ICC vice-president Alan Isaac from New Zealand, who becomes president for a two-year term in June succeeding India’s Sharad Pawar, defended the proposed new structure.

“It is a normal model in New Zealand where you have a ceremonial president that rotates more quickly and a chairperson’s role, focused on governance, who may well be in place for a longer or shorter time,” he said.

The idea of splitting the presidency was one of the recommendations of an independent governance review of the ICC.

Another announcement from the meeting was that a prize fund of $3.8-million spread over three years from 2013 would be set aside to be split among the top-ranked teams in test cricket.

At the moment, the side that tops the rankings on April 1 each year receives $175 000 but that will increase to $450 000 in 2013, $475 000 the following year and $500 000 in 2015, with cash prizes for the teams placed second, third and fourth.

The increase in funding is an attempt to give further incentives to the players and generate interest among the public in the longest form of the game, which is struggling to draw crowds in the face of the new popularity of Twenty20 cricket. — Reuters