New Zealand and South Africa join the 'Big Three' as ICC faces competition

New Zealand and South Africa join the ‘Big Three’ as ICC faces competition

Officials from India, England, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand met in Mumbai on Monday, fueling fires of a bigger picture.

Quinton de Kock of South Africa
Quinton de Kock of South Africa against New Zealand (Photo by FIONA GOODALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has made some decisions off late that has not gone down well with some of the cricketing boards in the world. Their latest proposal of four-day Tests in order to make space for more ICC events and the distribution of money has led to a possible reformation of the ‘Big Three’, an idea floated by former BCCI President N Srinivasan.

The ‘Big Three’ included the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Cricket Australia (CA) coming together to form a nexus and arranging lucrative bilateral series amongst themselves apart from the ICC’s FTP, in order to rake in more money. This was a highly controversial move on their part as it left the other boards powerless and ICC’s authority was undermined.

The ‘Big Three’ set to be expanded to ‘Big Five’

But with BCCI being treated poorly by ICC in terms of its share of income and other things and CA and ECB not happy with some issues, reports suggest the big three might be back, but this time, in a bigger form of a big five. Officials from India, England, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand met for a lunch in a five-star hotel in Mumbai on Monday, fueling fires of a bigger picture.

As per reports from Times of India, a letter has been written and signed by BCCI, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa and awaiting signatures from Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa. This letter seeks to bring to notice of the governing body and its members that “arbitrary decisions being taken without consulting the members who bring in the revenue” are causing harm to cricket and its administration.

The Times of India didn’t confirm whether CA or NZC (New Zealand Cricket) have agreed formally, but those close to the proceedings say that they’ll come back eventually.

“Ever since it (ICC) got a new chief executive, the focus has only been on ICC tournaments. One ICC tournament every year, a new six-nation white-ball tournament, two World T20s every four years, a 50-over World Cup every three years. Today we read about some considerations being made for a 20-team World T20. What’s going on? We understand these are just discussions but most are simply meaningless,” sources were quoted by the TOI.

ICC planning 20-team World T20?

All the participating boards are unanimous that the Indian cricket board’s place at the ICC table must be restored and many of their decision taken on trial and error basis should not cost their members. On Monday, media reports in the UK quoted unidentified sources saying that the ICC was scheduling to expand the World T20 to 20 teams.

“Where’s all this coming from? Who is making these plans? The BCCI is clearly not on board. The ECB is clear that it shares BCCI’s thoughts.CA is present to hear out what BCCI and ECB have to say. The letter to ICC is precise to the point – what exactly is it up to? Do they have the members’ interests in mind or are interested in running their own tournaments?” sources added.

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