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Pakistan, Sri Lanka still oppose ICC reforms

February 6, 2014

Pakistan and Sri Lanka are likely to maintain their opposition to giving more power to India, England and Australia in cricket when the world body meets and possibly votes on proposals for change on Saturday.

The positions of South Africa and Bangladesh, initially opposed to the changes, are unclear.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said it has “serious concerns” over the proposals which were “neither in line with the principle of equity nor in the interest of the game of cricket.”

Sri Lanka Cricket said it will oppose them at the International Cricket Council meeting in Singapore following a unanimous decision by its executive committee.

“The SLC executive committee was firmly of the view that all endeavors should be made to safeguard the current rights and privileges of Sri Lanka Cricket as a full member of the ICC,” the country’s cricket board said after inviting former national team captains, past board presidents and representatives of the country’s sports ministry to join a meeting and give their opinion.

“All present at this meeting were in unanimous agreement ... to oppose the revised proposals.”

After initially rallying the opposition, Cricket South Africa hasn’t stated its stance since the proposals were tweaked and is in discussions with the Board of Control for Cricket in India and other ICC member countries — an apparent toning down of its opposition after rejecting the initial proposals by the BCCI, England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia as “fundamentally flawed.”

“We have carefully considered the proposals,” CSA President Chris Nenzani said in the latest statement, “and we have declared that we will engage further with the ICC and other members to try and reach any consensus ahead of Saturday’s ICC board meeting and that position still stands.”

CSA, which initially said it wouldn’t comment on the “sensitive matters,” broke its silence to deny media reports that it was planning to side with the big three in return for favors from the BCCI.

Wealthy India and its partners in England and Australia have to win over five of the other seven test nations for the eight votes they need to approve the sweeping changes to the ICC that will clear the way for them to, among other things, earn more money and deregulate the international cricket calendar. That will allow the big three to pick and choose their opponents and turn down unprofitable or inconvenient series against smaller teams.

New Zealand, West Indies and Zimbabwe seem to have been won over already, with New Zealand the most open in its reasons for backing the changes; guarantees that it’ll receive money-spinning tours from the big teams.

“We’ve got strong commitments from Australia, from India, from England,” said Martin Snedden, New Zealand Cricket’s representative on the ICC. “So on the field I think we’re getting close to getting a really, really good result out of this.”

Like South Africa, Bangladesh could also be wavering after the BCCI, ECB and CA adjusted its proposals to suggest that no country would lose its test status. That was likely to be the biggest issue for Bangladesh and its struggling test team.


AP Sports Writer Rizwan Ali contributed to this report.

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