London – Sri Lanka have insisted plans for wholesale reform of the International Cricket Council are in conflict with the organisation's “fundamental principles”.
Last month the ICC said it had reached “unanimous agreement” on the outline of a plan to give the sport's most financially powerful nations – India, England and Australia – a greater say in running the world game.
Sri Lanka, together with Pakistan and South Africa, had already objected to the proposals when they were leaked ahead of an ICC board meeting in Dubai.
Soon after the talks, it became clear several countries still had concerns ahead of Saturday's follow-up meeting in Singapore, which could see a vote on implementing the plans.
In a letter seen by AFP in London, Sri Lanka Cricket board president Jayantha Dharmadasa has written to the ICC's head of legal affairs, Iain Higgins, warning the reforms are “not valid” in law.
The letter, sent to the ICC's Dubai headquarters on February 5, states that one of the objects for which the ICC was established was to regulate and promote the game worldwide “in co-operation with its members”.
However, Dharmadasa argued the proposed changes take away power from the 10 full members and vest it “in an inordinately disproportionate manner in just three full members, namely the boards of India, England and Australia”.
“The purported resolutions also have the effect of taking a disproportionately large share of the funding available from the ICC and distributing it among these three full members,” Dharmadasa added.
“This is contrary to the equal revenue share model that is enshrined in the constitution.”
The other major proposed change is the end of the current Future Tours Programme, designed to give all 10 leading countries a regular diet of international cricket, and a return to 'bilateral' series.
Critics such as former England captain Michael Atherton have said the plans represent “the end of the notion that a fair and principled and just body can govern cricket in the interests of all”.
But the 'Big Three' have insisted their scheme is about more than their own self-interest, with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Giles Clarke saying: “If the status quo was so successful, why were so many countries in a perilous financial state?”
He added: “All countries earn more through this proposal. No member would earn less and, if our predictions are correct, most will earn an awful lot more. How can that be bad for cricket?” – Sapa-AFP