After the ICC CEO Manu Sawhney proposed the idea of the ICC tournaments being allocated through the Expression of Interest (EoI), it has been learnt that the BCCI is not in favour of the idea. Pakistan and Sri Lanka, however, have shown interest in the process, much to the dismay of the Big Three.
The ICC, since the chairmanship of Shashank Manohar and the period of intreim charge by Imran Khwaja, have been lobbying more ICC events – approximately one ICC event in a year – but the Big Three, trying to protect their own bilateral rights, are putting their stance against the system. When the informal board meeting took place over Video call, Sourav Ganguly, attending his first meeting since his heart attack, made it clear that the BCCI doesn’t support the idea at all.
According to ESPN Cricinfo, the decision to get members to bid to host events by the ICC CEO Manu Sawhney came along after the ICC decided to increase the number of ICC events in the next rights cycle. In the previous eight-year cycle, all the major global men’s events were essentially bought by the Big Three of Australia, India and England. Thus the new plan has put off all three boards.
As a matter of fact, in February 2020, the ICC sent out an email to all members, asking them to tender expressions of interest for any of the 20 global tournaments – in both men’s and women’s cricket – listed in the 2023-31 cycle. Even Sawhney went on a whistle-stop tour visiting a number of countries but he didn’t travel to India. In the process, he managed to convince the likes of PCB, who have said in the past they would put in joint bids with the Emirates Cricket Board.
“Why should one bid?. Why is there a bidding process when India, England and Australia have not even bought the bid document? Cricket is not like Olympics or football where 100 countries are vying for the interest? Out of the top 10 countries there are just three who have the infrastructure and skillsets to host it. It has to come by rotation. You cannot ignore these three countries and think of hosting it in smaller countries,” a BCCI official told ESPN Cricinfo.
The BCCI is supportive of South Africa and America hosting the T20 World Cups but it wants the marquee events to be hosted in old and established centres. The ICC is calculating the financial returns as well but the insurmountable differences will be playing a part, espcially after the 2013 Champions Trophy, 2017 Champions Trophy as well as the 2019 World Cup didn’t yield the expected returns.