While Najam Sethi does not disagree that India should get the largest share, he wants clarity about the workings of the model
The PCB has become the first board to publicly express unhappiness with the proposed ICC revenue distribution model, as revealed by ESPNcricinfo last week. The model is yet to be finalised but is close to what may be a final version. It is supposed to be approved by June, before being formally adopted at the ICC’s AGM in Durban in July. But Najam Sethi, the current PCB head, has said his board will not approve the model, unless it is presented with more details of the workings behind it.
In the proposed model, the BCCI is expected to receive 38.5% of an annual projected ICC earning of US$600 million, followed by the ECB with a 6.89% share, CA with 6.25% and the PCB with 5.75%. The remaining Full Member (FM) boards all receive an annual share of less than 5%. The shares for each board are the result of weightage given to four different criteria: an equal share for FM status, variable shares for cricket history and performance at ICC events for men and women, and a share for the commercial contribution each board makes to the game.
The commercial contribution weightage is what sets the BCCI apart from other boards and though Sethi agreed that India should receive a larger share, he said there needs to be more clarity where the figures are coming from.
“We are insisting that the ICC should tell us how these figures were arrived at,” Sethi told Reuters. “We are not happy with the situation as it stands. Come June, when the board is expected to approve the financial model, unless these details are provided to us, we are not going to approve it.”
The PCB was one of the dissenters when the Big Three surprised the cricketing world by attempting to overhaul the game’s administrative and financial model in January 2014 – the new proposed financial model is based on similar principles of marking members for performance and commercial contributions. The model was voted in before Shashank Manohar took over as the ICC head in 2016 and rolled back the changes the Big Three had made. After some wrangling, the ICC and BCCI agreed to a new financial model in which the BCCI was scheduled to receive USD$405 million over the course of eight years.
This time round, the PCB apart, no board has publicly gone on record to say anything about the proposed model. Sethi said that two other Test-playing countries had also asked for more details on the workings of this model.
“In principle, India should get more, there is no doubt about that,” Sethi said, “but… how is this table being developed?”
All FMs are due to receive considerably more income in this rights cycle than in the last, a result of the increased bounty for the ICC in this cycle. Part of that was down to how the ICC broke down and sold its broadcast rights; where the ICC historically sold broadcast rights to all its events as one property to one broadcaster globally, this time it broke up its rights across different territories, in four and eight-year packages as well as into linear TV rights or for digital streaming (or both). As a result, where the ICC received approximately USD$2.1 billion for eight years in the 2015-23 cycle, they will receive upwards of USD$3 billion for four years from the India market alone this time. That means that a number of boards could end up receiving more than double what they did in the previous cycle.