ICC passes changes to curb 'Big Three' dominance

India's Lokesh Rahul watches the ball after playing a shot during a Test match against Australia in Ranchi on March 17, 2017

Cricket's global governing body has received a thumping mandate from its members to proceed with a broad restructure aimed at curbing the dominance of the "Big Three" -- Australia, India and England.

The sweeping changes were passed in a vote during a meeting at the International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarters in Dubai, the governing body said in a statement Thursday.

The shake-up amends the ICC's constitution and financial structure so that revenue is more equitably distributed among members and less power is concentrated in the hands of the "Big Three".

It reverses a much-criticised ICC decision in 2014 to relinquish more control to Australia, England and India, the world's most powerful cricketing boards.

The restructure was agreed to in principle in February by the majority of Test playing nations -- including England and Australia -- but India opposed the proposal.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India stands to lose $277 million revenue over the next eight years under the changes, with more flowing to minor Test nations and associate members like Ireland and Afghanistan.

"This model was passed 13 votes to one," the ICC said in a statement.

"A revised constitution was also approved by 12 votes to two," it said, adding the changes would be put to the ICC in June for adoption.

Despite India's opposition to the reforms, it was a former BCCI boss who was instrumental in pushing through the changes.

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, who was asked by the council to defer his resignation last month to see the reform package through, declared it "another step forward for world cricket".

"I am confident we can provide a strong foundation for the sport to grow and improve globally in the future through the adoption of the revised financial model and governance structure," he said.

The ICC also underscored its commitment to returning international cricket meets to Pakistan as long as safety is ensured.

With the exception of Zimbabwe, no international nation has toured Pakistan since a terrorist attack on a Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.