Friday, 15 March 2013

A better way of Funding Required for ICC?

Funding surely is a tricky business for ICC members. Baring a handful of about 6 out of 106 members, the rest 100 are solely dependent on ICC funding.

The situation becomes even more critical when we know that 70% of Funding is due to 1 country and next 20% is due to 2 countries. Hence how much funding is dependent on what type of a member a country is (Test, Associate or Affiliate), additionally for Associates what is your performance is (ODI Status (6 Teams), High Performance Program (4 Teams) and Rest). Besides this finally which region a member belongs to also means different funding for members. There are 5 regions of ICC- Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and East Asia Pacific. Belonging to Asia means most funding and most tournaments as Asia CC get's around half of ICC Development fund and other half is distributed amongst the other 4 Regions.

This means a Test Nation (10 Teams) get roughly 7.5 M$ / Year, while the 6 ODI nations get 0.65M$, 4 HPP members get 0.4 M$, 27 balance Associates get .16 M$ and the 59 Affiliate get miserly 0.015 M$ from ICC. The region funding varies and it mostly covers cost of tournaments.

So this means a country such big as Indonesia with a population of over 220M  get's roughly 30,000$ has to develop it's cricket, take the team for ICC tournaments. It also means that a country of Bermuda with a population with 60,000 and Nepal with a population of 40M get the same funding of 0.1 M$ from ICC.

Also when a Associate member looses the performance based funding it can have major consequences. Uganda when lost it's HPP membership it meant Uganda Cricket Association had to end central contracts with whole teams as it could no longer afford it. And this happened when Uganda lost a match to PNG by just 1 run and that run cost them roughly 240,000$ and entire team's salary

If we try to understand why ICC formed such funding, it was because it was only in last 15 years they expanded and tripled their membership. At that time they were for a standardized approach for membership as it did not have expertize to manage the critical aspect.

On top of that as Cricket is not an Olympics sport, this means that Government's are not interesting in funding the sport.

ICC has recently made some changes. From 2013 Associate members instead of the fixed 0.16 M$ will start getting 0.1 M$ fixed and rest based on a scorecard. The ICC also has formed a TAPP funding where based on need as presented by various members ICC funding. Ireland, Scotland & Netherlands have got 1.5 M$ for 3 years based on this funding.

However now the time has come for a complete restructuring of Funding. The funding should be based on certain criteria so that the development can be carried out in a much more sustainable way. The ICC needs to take care on few points

1. Performance of Board
ICC needs to define performance parameters for all it's members like School & Junior Cricket Participation, Transparency in Operations and money, Government Support, Domestic Cricket Tournaments and Scorecard each of the boards. The more the Score more the ICC level of funding. This will means boards taking much more long term sustainable steps

2. Population and Area of Countries
Population and Area of countries have a deep impact of how funding can be utilized. USA and Bermuda may be both Associate members and presently should never get same funding (As is the case today). USA is a huge country with 315 M population and 9 M Sq Km area while Bermuda is just 0.06 M Population. So definitely these factors need to be considered while funding is given.

3. Performance of Team
The better the performance of team, the more exposure ICC needs to get for the team. Hence a Ireland should be given a chance to play more Test teams or their A teams and also go for a sustainable domestic first class tournaments.
The better teams need that extra thrust to make them more self sustaining for future and in long term releases more money for the next level of upcoming teams

4. Parachuted Funding
The case of Uganda where when they lost HPP membership the whole team was out of central contracts. When a team in it's bad days, the funding should go out in a Parachuted ways. Uganda which lost funding from 0.4 to 0.16 M$ in 1 year instead should have gone down in 3 years. That way the board can plan for a comeback. Now it become a double blow, the membership and also lot the funding.

5. Full Members to be brought in the funding plan
Presently all the funding rules are applicable only for Associate and Affiliate members. ICC should make the whole structure more open, where if Ireland perform well they should be able to play Test Matches and Zimbabwe may lose out. Also the difference of 7.5 M$ to 0.6 M$ should be removed.
 Yes ICC will need to support the full members for playing Test matches but this should not mean a 12.5 times difference of funding. The ICC should be transparent in why and how part of funding for each member

Most of these things were covered by Woolf's report. ICC instead of even discussing it has pushed it aside. If ICC has to move with times it will need to come out of the colonial elite mindset and in sync with modern methods. Hoping for the best.

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