The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

South Africa asks ICC to reconsider proposals believed to favour India, England, Australia

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa - South Africa asked the International Cricket Council on Monday to immediately withdraw proposals for reform believed to favour the game's big three countries: India, England and Australia.

Cricket South Africa said it wanted the ICC to take back the draft of new regulations drawn up by a working group of the ICC Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee for more discussion, describing it as "fundamentally flawed" because it hadn't followed proper procedure.

CSA said its president, Chris Nenzani, asked ICC President Alan Isaac in a letter to refer the proposals "to the relevant ICC committees or sub-committees for proper consideration and to make recommendations to the ICC board."

Although details of the proposals haven't been made public, they are reported to give India, England and Australia control over the ICC, test cricket and its revenue in a major shake-up of the way the sport is run, including a greater say in when and where they play series.

The changes reportedly would see the three countries hold dominance over the ICC's decision-making executive board.

South Africa's opposition to the document appeared to back up the theory that India, England and Australia would be given overwhelming control, although CSA chose its language carefully in its letter, saying in its "respectful opinion, a more considered, inclusive/consultative, and properly constitutionally-ordained approach is required."

"Although there is nothing to prevent a review of the ICC funding model or finances, the proposal self-evidently is inextricably tied up with a fundamental restructuring of the ICC, which has far-reaching constitutional implications," CSA said. "The draft proposal is, therefore, fundamentally flawed as regards the process and, therefore, in breach of the ICC constitution."

South Africa has the top-ranked test team and a string of top players but struggles to match the commercial might of the other three nations, a situation made clear when the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India dictated terms — including the dates and number of games — to South Africa on India's tour last month.

South Africa also arguably has the most to lose by being left off cricket's top table.

CSA said Nenzani's letter had been copied to the other nine full member countries of the international cricket body, which may be asked to vote on the reform proposals at the ICC executive committee meeting at the end of this month.

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Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

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