New cricket order

After weeks of deliberations and backroom politics, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday voted for the ‘Position Paper’ that will give immense powers to three cricket boards - Board of Control for Cricket in India, England and Wales Cricket Board, and Cricket Australia.

Though the ICC governance will seemingly be in the hands of the ‘Big Three’, it is clear who will call the shots in the new set up. For a long while now, India’s has been the most powerful voice in world cricket simply because it generates 80 per cent of the ICC revenue. Whether India has used that financial clout in the right manner so far in the world arena is a topic for discussion, but now it indeed has a golden opportunity to play the global leader role in the truest sense. After all, having a stable figure at the top would only do good to any sport, and cricket is no exception.

The responsibility to bring in the promised changes in world cricket rests on BCCI President N Srinivasan, who will be the ICC Chairman for the next two years. Beyond the veneer of arrogance, Srinivasan is known to be an able and self-confident administrator and the way he ran the Indian cricket board in the last few years will testify that. Now, the Tamil Nadu strongman will have to energise the administration of world cricket that has unquestionably been gripped by inertia in recent times. But the job is not a piece of cake. It is easy to fall prey to the lure of unimaginable and unprecedented powers at hand.

The Trinity and its head -- the BCCI -- should realise that other nations will look up to them for help in the changed scenario, and they should be able to discharge the duties with a free mind. In the past, of course, there have been some unhappy moments between the boards and even at the ICC meeting in Singapore both Sri Lanka and Pakistan abstained from voting.

Now that the power has come to their hands rather irrevocably, BCCI, ECB and CA must show a mindset to forget the past and move towards a new world order. That process should be inclusive in nature. The new system has certainly some good points in it which can transform the world cricket into a more vibrant entity. But it has also the capability to take the world cricket back to the days of oligarchy. Let’s hope for a positive turnout.

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