ICC's new 'Position Paper' is legally sound, says Higgins

Responding to opposition from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to the proposed changes in the ICC’s structure, its head of legal affairs Iain Higgins said that the revamp model was “legally sound” and member boards can vote against it should it be brought to vote during Saturday’s Board meeting in Singapore.

On Wednesday, SLC president Jayantha Dharmadasa wrote to Higgins after a special meeting of the SLC stakeholders voted unanimously against the revised proposals presented to the ICC directors at the ICC Board meeting on January 28.

According to Cricinfo, Higgins has replied to Dharamdasa, saying that “the proposals themselves could be “considered” within the ICC’s “Memorandum and Articles of Association” and members are free express their opposition.

“...On the face of the resolutions themselves, they would appear to be correct. Any Member who disagrees with that analysis or any of the resolutions is, of course, free to vote against the resolutions, or take such other action as they see fit,” Higgins wrote.

One of Dharmadasa’s reservations was against the proposed “contribution costs” which would erase the existing equal distribution of funds to all Full Members from the ICC surplus. And Higgins admitted that the financial redistribution model might need further discussions.

“Our preliminary view is that the payment of ‘Contribution Costs’ and ‘Test Cricket Fund’ are in furtherance of the ICC’s objectives and consistent with the prevailing provisions within the ICC’s constitution. We will consider that matter further, and will reflect on your comments in that respect,” Higgins wrote.

Higgins also said that it was not necessary to give the Members “three months” notice for the proposals to be studied, as argued by Dharmadasa. The period, he said, was necessary only if the resolutions were being tabled in front of the Full Council. The ICC’s Full Council meets in June every year.

BCCI President N Srinivasan has, however, defended the proposal stating that a strong India would be good for world cricket and that efforts were on to get a consensus among ICC members. At the Dubai meeting, the BCCI’s status as the most influential cricketing body in the world was formally acknowledged with a bulk of its demands getting passed.

While BCCI’s demand for immunity of the ‘Big Three’ in a two-tier Test format was ruled out, they had their way in deciding the exclusive bi-lateral series agreements from 2015-2023.

The decks were also cleared for BCCI president N Srinivasan to become the chairman of the ICC Board with effect from June 2014.

Similarly, a Cricket Australia representative will be the chairman of the Executive Committee (EX-Co) while the ECB representative will be the head of Finance and Commercial Affairs (F&CA) committee.

BCCI also had their way in doing away with the proposed World Test Championship.

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