ICC changes will benefit West Indies cricket

Port of Spain, Trinidad — President Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron said the amended key principles covering governance, financing and structure recently agreed by the International Cricket Council will allow the West Indies Cricket Board to grow and develop the game in the Caribbean and the Americas far more robustly and vigorously.

The WICB was one of eight full members of the sport’s World governing body that supported the key principles at a recent Executive Board meeting in Singapore.

Cameron said the new financial arrangements meant that there will be more revenue for all members of the ICC including the WICB, a Test Match fund to sustain the longest version of the game over the next decade, and a clear pathway for Associate Members nations to become eligible to play Tests.

He said the new financing proposals will allow the WICB to negotiate, on a bilateral basis, tours to other countries for which it will earn direct revenue.

“Increased revenue in these areas will redound to the benefit of West Indies cricket through more funds invested into development, longer first-class seasons and other areas,” said Cameron at a media conference on Monday at the Hyatt Regency here.

“The WICB projects an increase of more than 100 per cent in ICC revenue for the upcoming eight-year cycle of international matches based on the proposals when compared to the previous eight-year cycle.”

He added: “The WICB and all other full members now play international cricket based on the Future Tours Programme which is spread over a period of eight years. It is negotiated between members and compiled by the ICC, and is based on two cycles of four years and it obliges us to play every full member twice – once home and once away – in every four-year cycle.

“Currently, West Indies have the most unfavourable allocation of matches of all the full members of the ICC, based on the current FTP schedule, and this is largely the reason the WICB is set to have a major deficit at the end of the financial year, September 30, 2014.”

Cameron said the newly approved proposals will however, allow the WICB to increase the number of profitable tours it hosts, while reducing the number of unprofitable tours it is obliged to host under the current FTP.

“Based on the proposed bilateral structure, the WICB will be able to negotiate fees when the West Indies team plays in away series, as was the case prior to the establishment of the FTP,” the WICB President told his audience that also included WICB Vice President Emmanuel Nanthan, Chief Executive Officer Michael Muirhead and Director of Cricket Richard Pybus.

“As the West Indies team continues to regain strength, the WICB will be able to negotiate more for our brand, which is a most significant consideration.”

He said: “Also, where the WICB hosts unprofitable tours, we will now be able to access the newly proposed Test Match Fund to help offset costs.

“We can inform you now that the WICB has already secured commitments from the major boards to play an increased number of matches and series during the next eight-year cycle. This will allow WICB to grow revenue significantly through television and sponsorship with increased opportunities to play against the more attractive teams in the game.”

On the possible introduction of a two-tiered system for Tests that could lead to relegation, Cameron said: “As it stands, the top nine teams – including West Indies – will continue to play Test matches. The risk of ‘relegation’ is only realistic for the 10th-ranked team. West Indies is currently ranked seventh and is in no realistic position to be ranked 10th in the foreseeable future.

“With the increased revenue and a fortified development programme, the WICB is determined to ensure that the West Indies team is nowhere near being ranked 10th in the World, allowing us to continue to play all formats of the game in full – and put us in a strong position to negotiate with every other full member for participation in home and away tours.”

On the impact the new governance structure will have on the WICB, Cameron said: “We want to make it abundantly clear: The WICB has not relinquished any powers as a full member of the ICC. The WICB remains a full member of the ICC with full voting rights on all matters.

“The WICB will be eligible for membership to all committees, chairmanship of all committees, and the presidency and chairmanship of the ICC.”

He said: “As such, I am a member of the Financial & Commercial Affairs Committee and will retain that position following the organizational transition.

“The WICB is extremely confident it will not be hurt by the organizational transition of the ICC and the World governing body will be stronger outfit as a result.”

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