Former PCB chairman says increasing India’s share of ICC earnings makes ‘no sense’

Former Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani addresses a press conference. — AFP/File

Former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani is concerned about international cricket’s health following revelations that India would receive a significant share from the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) media rights deal for 2024-27, which is worth $3 billion.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to receive 38.5% of the net surplus earnings from the ICC which is much higher compared to its 22% share in the current 2015-23 deal, according to ESPNcricinfo.

“The (proposed revenue distribution model) will be giving the most money to the country that needs it the least, which makes no sense,” Mani, who was ICC president from 2003-06 and stepped down from the Pakistan Cricket Board in 2021, told Forbes in an exclusive interview.

“I think it’s very unfortunate. There’s no strategic thinking about the development of the global game. There’s no vision.”

Mani also stated that cricket should grow beyond its traditional base rather than just relying on India.

“It only takes one downturn in an economic cycle for the ICC members to be affected. There is far too much reliance on India,” he said.

“If the ICC wants a truly global game and diversify its financial reliance, the country to develop is the US I would have put $20-30 million into the US You also need to grow the game in Africa, that’s the future.

“I think the global game (Associates) should have been allocated at least 30% (instead of 11%). That’s the only way to globalise the game.”

Mani also called for financial parity among the 12 full members of the ICC rather than giving the lion’s share to India.

“You have to give countries enough resources to not only develop their players but to pay them a fair amount, especially with the IPL and other T20 leagues targeting players,” he said.

“The Indian market brings in a lot of money…it’s not the BCCI (India’s governing body). There are benefits to the Indian companies to advertise in the ICC events and worldwide. India are not playing on their own, they are playing against other members. It’s a two-way street.”

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