Ehsan Mani, the Former ICC President has disclosed that once during his tenure, an important cricketing nation decided to withdraw from ICC events but the threat to it was minimized by other nations standing together against it. Sanjay Patel, off-late said that BCCI deserves greater amount of revenues from ICC and threatened ICC that BCCI can form a parallel body if ICC do not take on the matter seriously. Mani told a cricket media website that he found Patel’s comments “laughable” and according to him, he was “astonished that the ICC took this seriously.“
His words were as such when he said about such an incident which occurred during his regime:
“I am talking from personal experience, when I was ICC president, when a country threatened not to take part in ICC events and all I did, was, to speak to other Full Members, and that included countries like England Australia, Pakistan and West Indies at that time, and they made it clear to this particular country that was making threats, that they would only work within the ICC and would not break ranks with the ICC. And once this country got that message, it realised its threat was absolutely hollow.”
Mani also said that what he would have done if he was the ICC President at present. According to him, he would firstly ask BCCI to explain its position “in writing”. He also added by saying about the role of other members and “the other members must have stood firm to ensure BCCI gets a good reply”. He went on and also said “India would have realised once it calmed down that this was a very hollow threat and their whole bluff could be called and they would be embarrassed if it ever got out publicly.” Mani also stated that both England and Australia boards, along with ICC “PANICKED” at BCCI’s statement and failed to counter their “BLUFF”.
Mani also criticized ECB and CA and said that they should not have been “PANICKED” so much on the incident and they were expected to counter BCCI’s threat but they remained silent. He also added “People tend to sometimes overlook the values that they bring to an event or a party as it were. And I think that is what happened in this case, particularly with England and Australia, since they are ones who call themselves the so-called part of the Big Three.”
Mani also said that IPL would not have been so much popular if the foreign players were taken out from the tournament. He said “If you take out the foreign players from the IPL, it wouldn’t be that attractive, it would just be a national tournament being played in India. It’s the foreign players that make the difference and what the cricket boards don’t appreciate is that without their players or their former players, it (the IPL) wouldn’t be as attractive for people to come and watch.”
According to him, it is the Cricket Boards who produce the players and they should bind the players by the contracts and shall not compromise their International tournaments in April-May and if that happened, IPL will definitely miss most of its stars and will lack its charm.
Mani also questioned Patel’s estimates of the contribution which BCCI had put up. According to Patel’s statistics, BCCI contributed to 72% of ICC’s revenues.
“Mr Patel said somewhere that they came up with the figure of 72% and the ICC came back and said 68%. To my knowledge, this is absolutely not correct,” he said.
Mani also claimed that when other members questioned the Big Three that how such statistics were calculated, they were replied by BCCI, ECB and CA that “they were not up for discussion, you take it or leave it.”
Mani also stated that he has written to ICC President, Alan Isaac to have an independent board to hold discussions about the matter and such discussions shall not be influenced by the supremacy of the Big Three.
He said that it is India only who rely on Cricket as a part of their economy. He said, “It is not the other way around. And my big issue with the BCCI is that the BCCI does not own the proprietary rights to the Indian economy.”
Mani said that if BCCI’s threat had been called off and had severe actions been taken against it by other members, its own revenues would have reduced significantly “by 70 to 80%” because no one would like to see India playing Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and New Zealand throughout.
He finally claimed that even India has to rely on other members to ensure its revenues. “It’s a two-way thing, it’s not a one-way thing” he said.