The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) has responded to the outcomes of the recent ICC Board and Committee meetings which took place in Dubai from 1st to 3rd February 2016.
“We are encouraged by what appears to be a new direction coming from the ICC,” said Tony Irish, FICA’s Executive Chairman. "The announcement of a review of its constitution and governance structures with the stated intention that it wishes to avoid potential conflicts of interest and follow best practice principles of good governance has to be a step in the right direction. We hope that this will translate into the ICC prioritising the long term global interests of the game ahead of the immediate interests of its most powerful members. We note and support Mr Manohar’s statement that no member of the ICC is bigger than any other.”
These sentiments are in line with FICA’s guiding principles, published in March 2015*, which advocate for universally accepted principles of good governance. These include:
- High quality, innovative and strategic leadership
- Independent directors with democratic, equal voting rights for all
- Clear and transparent structures, decision making processes and financial reporting
- A considered, meaningful and published global development strategy for the game
Meaningful representation for the game’s stakeholders, including the players, in all relevant decision-making processes “Decisions made in February 2014 which effectively promoted the interests of three countries were fundamentally wrong for the global game and it now seems to us that the new leadership at the ICC is prepared to revisit some of this. Good decision making across the game will flow from a meritocratic governance structure” Irish continued.
Structure of Cricket
"FICA also welcomes the ICC’s move to seriously address the future structure and scheduling of international and domestic cricket, and to build a clearer global cricket calendar with greater context. As the world players’ federation we have advocated for this review for some time and we note the ICC’s comments that its process will include player representatives. We believe players should be integrally involved in building a better and clearer global cricketing market” Irish said.
In the wake of the Lodha Committee recommendations last month, including the recommendation for the formation of an Indian Players' Association, FICA hopes that players from all countries will be empowered to be central to decision making regarding the structure of the game.
“The game is currently faced with choices. Players, fans and broadcasters are all faced with choice as to where and what formats they play, what they invest in and what they watch. The global cricket economy has changed, and the labour market has changed for players” Irish continued.
Former South African captain and FICA player advisor, Graeme Smith added that “there is a conflict within players around the world under the current structure. The game has a great opportunity to provide clear global direction in relation to its structure, and must find a way to give meaning to each game. Every match must matter.”
FICA’s principles promote a clear and consistent position within the cricketing calendar for all current and future recognised leagues and competitions, especially domestic T20 leagues. This necessitates clarity and consistency in delivery, administration and regulation. FICA believes the international cricket structure should not be governed entirely by short-term financial considerations and must take into account the volume and context of cricket, player workload and a balance of the formats of the game. Critically, it must also have a structure that provides clear sporting narrative to players and the cricket public.
FICA President, and former West Indian cricketer, Jimmy Adams said that "players must be viewed not just as the means of production, but as key stakeholders in the game’s decision making processes.”
FICA also welcomes the appointment of an anti-corruption oversight group designed to have independent input into tackling corruption, as a further positive step. “FICA advocates for proportionate, reasonable and effective anti-corruption measures agreed in consultation with the stakeholders to whom they apply, and applicable to players and officials alike. Defence against threats posed by corruption are best achieved by engaging, educating and empowering all stakeholders, including the players” Irish said.
Health, Safety and Security
Following the release of the FICA Health, Safety and Security report in 2015, FICA continues to advocate for the game to have structured and agreed processes in relation to health, safety and security at a global level, to ensure that players and officials are provided with a world class working environment.
* Click here to access FICA's Guiding Principles, published in March 2015