Wellington: New Zealand Cricket has backed the proposed changes in the ICC's administrative structure, which would leave major decision-making in the hands of India, Australia and England, despite facing severe criticism from the country's players' association.
The New Zealand Players' Association has described the draft proposal of this plan, which will be presented to the ICC Executive Board during its quarterly meeting in Dubai on January 28 and 29, as "scheming" by India, Australia and England.
The proposal, drafted by a "working group" of the ICC's Finance and Commercial Affairs (F&CA) committee, in which the BCCI, CA and ECB are key members, recommends wide-ranging changes in the ICC's revenue distribution model, administrative structures and the Future Tours Programme.
It questions the relevance of Test rankings and suggests the reinstatement of the Champions Trophy over the World Test Championship. And almost every recommendation of the "position paper" gives a larger share of control over world cricket to the Australian, English and Indian Cricket boards -- both in the boardroom and on the field.
NZC, however, is not complaining too much about it.
In a statement by NZC board member Martin Snedden, who attended the Dubai ICC meeting where the plan was unveiled, insisted that New Zealand would not be "disadvantaged" or "downgraded" under the "changes that are currently proposed".
The proposed plan states that no member nation should be forced to play except for bilaterally-agreed matches. The plan has drawn criticism from New Zealand Players' Association chief Heath Mills and former cricketer John Morrison.
"I do know that in the past six months you've had the heads of English cricket, Australian cricket and Indian cricket meeting quite regularly and scheming to put a new system in place to control the game, so I'm worried," Mills was quoted as saying by 'Dominion Post'.
"I don't see how you can be supportive of the heads of three boards conducting meetings without you knowing, talking about how they want the game to be structured.
"As it appears to me, the (ICC) decision-making process is effectively being handed over to three boards who rotate the chairmanship and are soon to be making every decision," he added.
"I think that's alarming. If we want the game to grow globally, we need to have independent thinking about how we grow the game."
Morrison echoed the sentiment, saying that the restructuring seemed "sad and dangerous".
"There's no use having the mentality of 'give us this, give us that'," he said.
"That's a beneficiary mentality. You want to control your own destiny and step up and say 'we can foot it on the world stage and we want to be there'."