This is one heavyweight meeting which escaped the attention of the paparazzi, the national and local media. The bigwigs of Indian and world cricket met recently and it went totally unreported. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and International Cricket Council (ICC) managed to keep it a secret affair.
Richardson came calling all the way from Dubai and the meeting took place at a five star hotel in Chennai on Monday. Richardson was accompanied by Campbell Jamieson, ICC’s general manager (commercial).
Both Srinivasan and Richardson refused to discuss the details of the meeting but the bigwigs, it is understood, held a discussion on ICC’s set-up, functioning and the way forward. There was also talk of the commercial aspect of the world body as it soon will have to look to sell its media rights.
The meeting, apparently, is an exercise undertaken by Richardson to apprise the ICC heavyweights of his plans for world cricket. Having been an old ICC hand — he was the world body’s general manager (cricket) for 10 years — Richardson knows the functioning of the body. He had apparently undertaken a similar exercise last month in England, having taken time to call on England and Wales Cricket chairman Giles Clarke during the Lord’s Test between England and South Africa.
Despite there being a few fundamental differences over certain issues between the ICC and BCCI (particularly DRS), the relations between the apex body and Indian board have largely been cordial. The relations have particularly improved since Richardson took over as CEO in July.
During Richardson’s predecessor Haroon Lorgat’s time, the relations between the BCCI and ICC were at its nadir and it is believed the Indian board was responsible for Lorgat’s exit. Things are much better now given that Srinivasan and Richardson having mutual respect for each other. Incidentally, the BCCI had a hand in Richardson’s appointment.
There is no doubt that Richardson wants to win over the confidence of the BCCI and Srinivasan and it was he who was instrumental in keeping FICA (Federation of International Cricketers’ Association) out of the ICC awards night. The move pleased the BCCI which has been steadfastly opposing FICA’s role in ICC affairs. One may, perhaps, expect a few more such decisions which could be welcomed by the Indian board.
“The ICC under Richardson is much different and has an understanding of BCCI’s concerns,” said a top BCCI official. “That was not the case before.” ICC officials refused to comment on the meeting.