The GCC is demanding compensation over a series of problems during the event in South Africa – which included the cancellation of several major market games.
As a result, the ICC has refused to pay up monies owed to competing teams amid fears of a costly compensation claim.
Now, following an ICC board meeting in Barbados, cricket chiefs say the teams can have the cash – but only under strict conditions; one of which is the return of funds upon demand.
Said an ICC statement: “No money currently withheld by the International Cricket Council to deal with the claim for compensation by Global Cricket Corporation will be returned to countries until a series of strict conditions are met.
“These conditions will include: The ICC’s independent auditors and lawyers agreeing that the release of any money is a prudent and appropriate action; the independent advisors agreeing to the appropriate amount of money, if any, that should be released; that any member country wishing to access any money that is freed following this professional advice must give an unconditional and irrevocable legal undertaking to pay back the money if required. This may take the form of a bank guarantee.”
ICC president, Ehsan Mani, said that these conditions were put in place with the unanimous support of the board in order to ‘provide those countries that wished to access their money for their own reasons with a mechanism that would allow this to occur while also protecting the overall interests of international cricket’.
Said Mani: “Before the ICC can contemplate allowing any country to access the money currently being withheld, it is important that we have the necessary external professional advice to establish if this action is appropriate. This will be obtained in the coming weeks.
“The ICC has no desire to retain this money for a minute longer than is necessary to deal with the claims that have been made against us. If, after receiving the appropriate professional advice, the view is that some money is able to be returned, it is also important that all ICC members are treated equally.
“The mechanism proposed ensures that each member is obliged to give the same undertakings in order to access their money. These undertakings are comprehensive, unconditional and as good as cash in the bank. If these can be met, the money can be released.”
The only exception to this process is South Africa which had the largest amount of money withheld and will now see the bulk of its money returned after a detailed analysis of the GCC claim indicates that initial amount withheld was excessive given South Africa’s potential liability.
This action is consistent with the Board’s previous decision to release some money originally withheld from England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka after an analysis of the claim established that the amount withheld was excessive.
Other topics discussed at the meeting included the reformatting of future World Cup tournaments, and relations with player associations.
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