Cricket West Indies (CWI) is proposing that the International Cricket Council (ICC) move away from its current financial model in order to achieve more equitable revenue distribution earned primarily from bi-lateral tours.
Moving away from the current model and replacing with one that is more equitable, it says, will create a more competitive environment for cricket and possibly grow new markets for the sport.
CEO of CWI Johnny Grave told SportsMax.TV Monday that the current system agreed to four years is heavily skewed towards the teams with bigger markets. Back then, the ICC agreed on several structural changes, one of which was that the ICC was no longer to regulate the Future Tours Programme (FTP).
Instead, tours would revert to bilateral agreements and it would be up to the full members to enter into as many or as few FTP agreements as they wished. Over time, the imbalance has been clear to see.
Estimates have shown that between 2016 and 2023 India is estimated to earn about US$400m or approximately 23 percent generated revenue. Over the same period, England would earn about US$137 million or 7.8 percent of revenue while CWI, Cricket Australia, Cricket New Zealand, Pakistan Cricket Board, and Cricket Sri Lanka would each get US$127 million or 7.2 percent. Zimbabwe is estimated to earn US$94 million or 5.3 percent
Grave feels it is time for the current model to change and has taken CWI’s concerns to the ICC.
“We’ve made our opinion known. We think the money should be more equally distributed. That is not necessarily asking for more money at CWI over and above the US$127 million. We would rather everyone had an equal share and that more money went to the associate nations to help the sport grow more globally,” he argued.
“And certainly we feel that if the countries within the Americas could become more competitive cricket nations then cricket would grow as a more popular sport which would help the West Indies in terms of the economic market in our time zone.”
Under the current bilateral agreement, Grave explained, all of the costs of a tour are borne by the host nation but to a certain extent all of the income is kept by the home nation, which he said is ‘massively skewed in favour of the countries that either have very low operating costs or have huge economic markets.’
“Clearly, when we go and play England and they are playing in front of sell-out crowds at a cost of probably US$100 a ticket and a TV market paying millions and millions of dollars, it’s very different than when they come over here and we keep full share but obviously much smaller revenues,” he said.
“And that’s also the case in India where they can make almost US$ 7 million a game from TV revenue but they keep all of that. But we feel that economic model needs to change and there should be more revenue sharing with bi-lateral cricket which is outside of ICC events, the main cricket that we play if bi-lateral.
“That is the model that we are suggesting to ICC because the current model just means the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and therefore it gets harder and harder to compete, and we’ve seen our tour of New Zealand cut from three Test matches to two because New Zealand couldn’t afford to host us for three. Cricket Australia completely disbanded their series against Bangladesh that they were due to play for economic reasons.”