The International Cricket Council has positioned itself in the middle of a serious crisis after the radio production of the world feed stopped due to a series of non-payment and bouncing of cheques. The irresponsibility of ICC in handling the official radio rights have shocked many as commentators from across the globe are waiting for their payment.
Former Indian cricketers Mohammed Kaif, Deep Dasgupta, Atul Wasan, Syed Kirmani and commentators like Charu Sharma are among the many who are yet to receive their payments. Some of them have already considered legal actions. Former West Indian cricketer Carl Hooper and Ricardo have already filed respective lawsuits over their payment methods.
The digital radio rights were acquired by a Dubai-based company, Channel 2, until 2023 for all the ICC events. The mess happened after the cheques given for the acquisition of right bounced over the last couple of weeks. In their defence, the radio company has said that they further sub-leased the rights to an Indian company and they defaulted the payments and did not produce the audio feed.
The decision to sell the radio rights for the ICC events was taken to reach a wider range of audience, considering the tv subscription cost and digital streaming are priced heavily in the western countries. That is when Channel 2, owned by Atul Sethi brought the rights for radio production. To further monetise his procurement of rights, Sethi sub-leased the rights to various markets, including the companies for Carribeans and Australia-New Zealand. Among these companies, one is the India-based Sports Flashes run by Raman Raheja.
According to news reports, serious of payment defaults took place between Channel 2 and Sports Flashes which resulted in ICC not getting paid for their radio rights. Now an ugly blame-game is taking place between both the companies. While the Dubai-based company has accused Raheja of fraudulent, Sports Flashes said Channel 2 tried to play the role of big-brother which hampered the production during the ICC World Cup 2019. As both the companies fight with each other, ICC suffers the most with their payments hanging in the air.