The resignation of International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar as cricket’s top boss is the inevitable manifestation of an ongoing tussle between the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the revenue-sharing model between the two bodies.
Clearly, there is more than meets the eye than mere ‘personal reasons’ that Manohar has cited. The ICC Chairman’s post is an honorary job with an annual payment of USD 100,000 as administrative allowance. Ever since taking over as ICC chairman, Manohar had been at the forefront of a move to decentralise the power which earlier saw ‘The Big Three’ — BCCI, Cricket Australia (CA) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) — getting the lion’s share of the revenue earned. In a meeting last month, the ICC board members voted in favour of restructuring the revenue sharing model, which would bring an end to the financial dominance of the three bodies.
But the BCCI — represented by Committee of Administrators’ member Vikram Limaye — had protested vehemently against this move, which would lead to a considerable drop in its revenue. In fact, the BCCI, under former president Anurag Thakur, had also threatened to pull out of the upcoming Champions Trophy in England.
As things stand now, to get ICC’s new revenue sharing model passed, a 70 per cent majority is required. So, while ICC needs seven members to agree, India need just three votes to get the proposal squashed as they already have one vote themselves. A final decision on this is expected next month. Some experts are interpreting Manohar’s resignation as an indication that the BCCI will have the last laugh. The writing on the wall was getting clearer by the day and it could be that Manohar had realised his days at ICC’s helm were numbered.
Indeed, right from the word ‘go’ the friction between the ICC and the BCCI had been gnawing at Manohar. In September last when the then BCCI president Anurag Thakur was facing rough weather from the Supreme Court for failing to carry out the instructions of a committee appointed by the court, Thakur had lashed out at Manohar for deserting a ‘sinking ship’ (the BCCI) and also accused him of working against the interest of the Indian cricket board. It is indeed a pity that an Indian at the helm of the ICC has had to step down from a key post because of tension with the Indian board.