New Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) is open to talks with member countries on its proposed events for the 2023-31 period, a source at the global governing body told Reuters, an approach that could head off a clash with financial powerhouse India.
Following on from a proposal tabled last year, the ICC recommended staging a T20 Champions Cup in 2024 and 2028 and ODI versions in 2025 and 2029 in addition to the existing World Cups in each format.
The proposal is part of the ICC’s plans to boost its finances by having at least one global event every year.
Media reports have said England and Australia are set to join India in opposing the new ICC tournaments, which would cut into the windows of opportunity for cricket’s ‘Big Three’ to hold lucrative bilateral series.
The competing views are set to meet head-on at next month’s ICC Board meeting in Dubai, and while some are predicting a stormy affair the source said the governing body had adopted a more flexible approach.
“We’re looking forward to productive meetings,” the source said.
“Every Board meeting provides ample opportunity for members for discussion, debate and ultimately decisions."
“ICC staff will execute the decisions taken by the Board ... They (members) can have a further debate and change it. It has to be a collaborative process.”
The powerful Indian board is opposed to the idea of new global tournaments as they would clash with its own plans for an elite four-team competition involving England, Australia and another team.
However, ICC full members outside the ‘Big Three’ are likely to back the new events proposed by the governing body as they would be of more financial benefit to them.
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney and General Manager Campbell Jamieson have been touring member countries to gauge their interest in hosting future ICC tournaments, which would also bring a financial windfall.
The ICC top brass visited nearly all major cricketing countries, and even some associate members, except India.
Last week Sawhney sent letters to all members seeking expressions of interest by 15 March to host ICC events in the 2023-31 period.
The governing body would like to finalise the appointment of hosts by the end of this year, Sawhney said in the letter seen by Reuters.
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