Shock resignation may have ripple effect on NZ Cricket

By Dylan Cleaver

India have the most financial muscle of cricket's full member nations. Photo / Mark Mitchell
India have the most financial muscle of cricket's full member nations. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The shock resignation of International Cricket Council chairman Shashank Manohar could have ramifications for cricket here if it means India starts flexing its muscles again.

Manohar abruptly resigned from his position last night, citing personal reasons, a move that blindsided New Zealand Cricket officials as well, it appears, as staff at the ICC.

"I had no sense this was coming," said NZC chairman Greg Barclay. "It was a total surprise. I thought everything was tracking well and he gave every indication of being comfortable in his role."

Manohar was elected unopposed as the ICC's first independent chairman 10 months ago for a two-year term. He provided the impetus for the ICC rolling back the self-interested governance model created by the self-styled Big Three - the boards of India, England and Australia - in 2014.

He was a valuable conduit who could bridge the gap between the often competing interests of east and west, and between 'big' countries and the minnows.

A draft constitution is in place to repeal many of the imbalances of power. That was approved at the previous ICC meeting, which Barclay attended as NZC's representative, by 7-2, with Zimbabwe abstaining. Members will be allowed final thoughts at April's meetings before the constitution is ratified at June's AGM in London.

If four of the 10 member nations vote against the draft constitution, it will not be ratified. India would likely drive that contrarian vote and drag Sri Lanka with them, but whether they could drag Zimbabwe and Bangladesh with them remains to be seen.

Or, hopefully, not seen.

"We're a long way down the track to the new constitution," said Barclay. "I'd be surprised if there's a change in the fundamentals behind it."

As well as loosening India's grip on the levers of control, the biggest change is set to be the more even distribution of ICC revenues. Under the draft constitution, NZC are set to gain, by Barclay's estimate, 5 per cent per annum.

"It's not a life or death amount, but it would be nice to have."

Manohar's untimely departure could make that windfall just a little more tenuous.

- NZ Herald

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