Former West Indies President Dave Cameron’s bid to become chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) will be an uphill task. At least that is what former Barbados opening batsman and England international cricketer Roland Butcher believes.
Butcher, also a longstanding member of the Barbados Cricket Association, said that it is already clear where the next chairman of the ICC will come from, citing England, India and Australia as the top three countries that currently run world cricket.
Butcher added that if Cameron was really serious about succeeding current ICC boss Shashank Manohar of India, he should look to Zimbabwe for his second nomination having so far garnered support from the United States of America.
“Whether the West Indies should support him, I really don’t know. The people who have been sitting down with Dave Cameron over the years, they would have an opinion and decide whether from a West Indian perspective he is worthy of carrying the flag at that level for CWI.
“I would imagine CWI would be put in a precarious situation because at some point in time whether it is now or in future, I am sure CWI would want to put up their own candidate. But I really believe that at this juncture it is a futile exercise really because it is obvious that the next chairman is going to come from England, Australia or India,” Butcher said.
He added: “It may even be a case that other countries’ boards are not putting anyone up because it is understood that the guy from England would be the next one. I think Dave has got an uphill task. You are looking at England, Australia, South Africa with England being the favourites.”
During a telephone interview with Barbados TODAY, Butcher stated that he did not expect to see a West Indian chairman anytime soon. Making reference to when former West Indies great Sir Clyde Walcott was chairman of ICC from 1993 to 1997, Butcher explained that during those times West Indies dominated the cricket world.
“I don’t expect you will see a West Indian chairman for a long time because if you think back to when Sir Clyde Walcott was chairman of the ICC, now he was chairman because in those days there were two reasons – West Indies were number one and the dominant force in world cricket and number two there was not that much amount of money around that time.
“Now with a vast amount of money around at this stage and West Indies being ranked nine and ten in certain competitions (formats), the reality of a West Indies chairman at this time or in the foreseeable future, there is really not a high percentage of that happening. The money surrounding ICC cricket generates around India, Australia, England. Those are the three who control that and those are the three who get the most out of it as well,” he said.
With the ICC generating significant income from global tournaments such as T20 World Cup, 50 Over World Cup, Women’s World Cup, Champions Trophy and the broadcast rights for its various competitions, Butcher expressed his dissatisfaction that the money earned was not being fairly distributed among cricket-playing countries.
“When there is a World Cup, ICC will sell the rights for all the countries as a whole. So no individual country sells its rights for an ICC competition. ICC sells the rights on behalf of all the countries but the problem comes with the distribution of that money at the end of the World Cup.
“It is a very unfair situation with distribution. The next group would be from 2016 to 2023 and during that period from the ICC revenues, India will get in the region of 405 million US dollars, England 139 million, Australia 128 million, along with West Indies and all the other countries. The only ones that would get less are Zimbabwe – 94 million – in that eight-year period.
“Now that can’t be right. You are selling the rights on behalf of all the countries but there are two or three that get the lion’s share. The others can’t say anything because India brings in the money and they bargain hard to say ‘we bring in 80 per cent of the international revenue. The rest of the world brings in 20 per cent, so we ain’t taking no same as the others’,” Butcher explained.
“So with that sort of money around now, you are not going to see a West Indian as chairman of ICC. No way! There is too much money involved. Now until West Indies can get back to the top, we really have little chance. We have people on committees and stuff but being ICC chairman, it is pretty much like a boys’ club, it revolves around the group at the top. It’s unfortunate but that is the way it is,” Butcher added.
Butcher said he hoped to see ICC follow a similar pattern to the National Football League. “The NFL does the same thing in terms of selling the rights for all 32 clubs. But what the NFL does they then distribute the money equally amongst the 32 clubs. When that happens, you can choose any of the presidents or chairmen of those clubs as commissioner for the league because they were all on the same footing, you can choose anyone. When it comes to ICC, if it is not going to be an Indian, they are going to have a great say on who it should be.”