DURBAN - Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani has justified his decision of voting in favour of the ICC revamp by stating that all members, including the Big Three, had to "rethink and make concessions" during the ICC Board meeting in Singapore on Saturday. Even though three boards - CSA, PCB and SLC - were against the proposals suggested by the Big Three until Friday night, CSA decided to vote in favour on Saturday, while the other two abstained from voting.
"All countries, including the so-called Big Three, have had to rethink and make concessions and the final terms that were approved today include significant changes from the original proposals presented in January," Nenzani said in a statement. "It was key that we remain engaged and an absolute imperative that we should preserve the financial stability of the game over the next eight-year cycle from 2015 to 2023. Not only have we managed to do this but we have created the opportunity for current Associate Members to aspire to play Test cricket - the game's highest form." Nenzani had a long meeting with BCCI president N Srinivasan on the eve of the meeting in Singapore which, ESPNcricinfo understands, resulted in CSA's change of heart. The South African board was the first Full Member to publicly oppose the proposal and had called it "fundamentally flawed". On the eve of the meeting, had sent a "formal response" to the proposals in a nine-page letter to ICC president Alan Isaac.
CSA had offered a detailed response to the "key principles" in the revamped proposals but had also expressed its willingness to "proceed with the revamp despite obvious procedural flaws". The board had accepted a few broad principles announced by the ICC and rejected outright "the complete de-regulation of the current FTP structure." The letter had stated that CSA did not support the new bilateral FTP because it "would not be in the best interest of international cricket and therefore ICC members." It asked for "basic principles regulating/governing bilateral arrangements and agreements" and wanted the ICC to provide that "necessary co-ordination" while working the FTP around ICC sponsorship cycles.
The meeting on Saturday confirmed the end of the FTP in its current form, with future schedules being dependent on "contractually binding bilateral negotiations" between boards. Nenzani's statement said: "There is a lot of work still to be done in terms of deliberations between the various Full Members as far as their international tour programmes are concerned and this procedure also has the support of the Full Member countries. We are currently at an advanced stage of discussion with all the Full Members to secure our future tours through to 2023 and we will take comfort in the legally binding FTP agreements that will be in place."
Since the proposal by the Big Three had suggested that most powers would be vested in the hands of the three boards, CSA's letter to Isaac had said it "supported a democratic process whereby the BCCI accepted a leading and effective role in the leadership of the ICC". It was decided in the meeting on Saturday that Srinivasan will become the ICC chairman from July 2014, CA chairman Wally Edwards will head a newly-formed Executive Committee, and ECB chairman Giles Clarke will continue to head the Financial and Commercial Affairs (F&CA) Committee, for a two-year transitional period.
Nenzani's statement on Saturday emphasised CSA was "determined to stay true" to its stance and said there will be "fully democratic elections" from 2016.
"What is equally important is that this is only a transitional arrangement and from 2016 there will be fully democratic elections for all the governing positions in the ICC including the chairpersons of the Board and the other committees," Nenzani said. "There will be no restrictions in this regard and this must be seen as the key component in our determination to stay true to the best principles of democracy and good corporate governance. All these decisions and those still to come will help cricket to move forward with a unified sense of purpose and ensure the future of our great game."