The recent spate of news about the ICC revenue distribution model, its rightness, the revenge of other cricket boards, Manohar striking against his own homeland and sponsoring association, and the timing of the move against the BCCI will make a lot of rounds. Passionate arguments will be thrown by pro and anti BCCI and India camps (see the comments below the same article).

What is clear is that we run the risk of losing a clear perspective on the issue.
The high handedness of the BCCI and its previous administrators should not take away from the need for a fair model.

An example of a factor that is generally missing from all comments, is the sheer size and scale of operations in a country, and the associated cost structures. Giving 250M to India and 100M to Windies, may actually be unfair, if you take into account the player base, the number of matches, the number of centres needed etc. Giving 100M to Australia and Sri Lanka (similar population) may be inequitable given the PPP of what a $ gets you in both countries.

My central point is that any any model of distribution should be transparent, multi-factorial, and weighted to achieve an equitable balance.

There will be arguments about what is equitable, but transparency of variables and weights will be one way to make it easier to judge.

Illustratively (leaving out who should be in what category etc only to make the point):
1. A base fixed share of revenues, say 40%, is reserved for all Test nations. To be distributed equally
2. A variable % of 40% is distributed based on two factors: 20% is based on share of revenues contributed, and 20% on the basis of scale of operations (number of players, centres, costs using PPP etc)
3. 10% is distributed to associates using a similar formula between them
4. 10% is used by ICC for global expansion and other needs

The best test of a good model of course is not just the transparency of factors and the weights, but also the quality of its output.

Any output should pass a simple smell test, to a reasonably neutral observer with no vested interests. If it smells (or looks) bad, it is generally likely to be bad. And if it smells good, it is likely good. (And let us not confuse bad with inconvenient, which is why it has to be a reasonably neutral observer).

Using this test, it is inarguable that the original model of distributing ICC revenues was biased against India. And the Big 3 model skewed too much towards it. To me, the new model smells like an over-correction against India, but there really is no way to tell.

The challenge with it is that no one can judge it, because it seems arbitrary.

No one wins here. Not the other boards, not BCCI, not Shashank Manohar, not the ICC.

And to those who say, the BCCI deserves the boomerang, let me just say: Do not confuse the BCCI with India, Indian cricketers at all levels and Indian fans.

Design the model better and more transparently.
Else boomerangs can, well, boomerang again.

 

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