10 Aug 2015

Cricket may be in for big shake-up

11:47 am on 10 August 2015

One of cricket's most controversial figures, Lalit Modi, says a detailed blueprint has been prepared for a complete overhaul of the way world cricket is governed.

The blueprint envisages a new governing body for world cricket, affiliated with the Olympic movement, overseeing new Test and Twenty20 competitions.

Former IPL chairman Lalit Modi.

Former IPL chairman Lalit Modi. Photo: AFP

Mr Modi, who launched the hugely successful Indian Premier League in 2008 but now lives in virtual exile in the UK, said a few billion dollars would be enough to overcome the existing establishment.

"We're talking about another cricketing system. There is a blueprint out there, it's got my rubber stamp on it," he told the ABC.

"I have been involved in it. I say it for the first time, I've been involved in putting that (blue)print together."

In the past, while acknowledging he had been involved in discussions to set up a new governing body for cricket, Mr Modi had insisted he walked away from the project.

Now, for the first time, he has revealed that he himself spent years working on the plan.

"The plan that I have put together is a very detailed plan, it's not a plan that's come off the cuff, it's been taking years and years and years in the making," he said.

Mr Modi was fired from his job as IPL commissioner in 2010 and has been dogged by allegations of misconduct ever since.

In 2013 he was banned for life from playing any role in cricket administration by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Last week a warrant for his arrest was issued by a court in Mumbai at the request of India's economic intelligence agency, the Enforcement Directorate. The agency is investigating allegations of money laundering linked to a lucrative television deal.

Mr Modi has not been charged, and has strenuously denied all the allegations against him.

Concerns over Big Three running ICC

In the past year, concerns have been expressed in several countries about the level of control exercised by three cricketing boards - India, England and Australia - over the way world cricket is governed.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is chaired by India's nominee, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, and has 105 member nations - only 10 of which are authorised to play Test cricket.

New financial arrangements drawn up by India, England and Australia, and agreed to by the ICC last year, will see at least 20 percent of the expected revenue of more than $2.5 billion which will arise over the next eight years from the media and commercial rights for ICC events taken by India.

Many smaller cricketing countries will receive only a fraction of that amount.

Mr Srinivasan and Mr Modi have been at loggerheads for years, and Mr Modi has been highly critical of the ICC's governance structure and financial model.

He said he believed he could spearhead an alternative.

"We could take on the existing establishment, no problem," he said.

"It requires a few billion dollars, I don't think it would be a problem to get that... into action. But it could be done."

Mr Modi said he hoped root and branch reforms were carried out at the ICC, thus removing the need for an alternative, but said he doubted whether that would occur.


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