"But currently the ICC reacts as though it is primarily a Members club; its interest in enhancing the global development of the game is secondary. In today's environment this is not an acceptable situation. Cricket is a global game and there is a need for global governance."
The above is a passage from the Woolf Report into the governance of the International Cricket Council, published almost two years ago. It seems that Australia, England and India have taken that passage to mean that the globe should revolve around them, as they have launched an audacious plan to take control of the game and its revenues, in the process turning the clock back on decades of progress.
The proposals will essentially see a return to the old veto system that existed up until just over 20 years ago, in which England and Australia were able to veto any proposal if they disagreed with it, no matter the views of other ICC members. They will be joined in this new axis of full members by India, ironically the very full member who fought so hard against the previous veto system.
A new executives committee will be created, sitting above the ICC committees. Cricket Australia, the ECB and the BCCI will each have a permanent position on this new committee, with the fourth member coming from one of the other seven full members.
Cricket Australia, the ECB and the BCCI will be the sole source of the ICC chairman, the chair of the executives committee and the commercial affairs committee - essentially the three most powerful positions in the ICC.
The Future Tours Programme - a well meaning but ultimately flawed plan to ensure that all full members play each other more often - will be scrapped, with a return to the old bilateral deals of the 20th century.
A new model for the distribution of ICC revenue will be implemented. Rather than distribute revenues equally amongst the full members, with the ICC's development arm, associates and affiliates picking up the scraps, the bulk will now be filtered to Australia, England and India, with their share determined by how much they contribute to the revenues in the first place.
There is more in the proposal, but I won't bore you with more details - rest assured that all the proposals involve giving more control to Cricket Australia, the ECB and the BCCI.
Also being proposed is a plan to introduce promotion and relegation to Test cricket, bringing in a tiered system that some have been demanding in recent years. I'm no fan of the tiered system, and feel that there are preferable alternatives for structuring Test cricket, but that's for another article.
But the tiered system comes with a catch. Three teams will be exempt from relegation. No prizes if you guessed that these three teams are Australia, England and India. This is nothing more than administrative match fixing. Who's to say that the future won't see these three teams demand that they qualify automatically for the World Cup semi-finals?
These proposals still need approval from the boards, but reports have it that the plans will be implemented as soon as this April. You might think that the other seven full member boards will vote this down, but it seems unlikely. Like all good bullies, the big three know exactly what pressure to apply to get their own way.
Backroom deals will already have been done. Full members not happy with the proposals will have been assured of a new bilateral deal that will bring them some much needed revenue. The other seven full members simply don't have the power to stand up to the big three.
It's hard for us followers of associate and affiliate cricket to be sympathetic to those full member boards. After all, they're having done to them exactly what they've been complicit in doing to associate and affiliate members over the last few decades.
But like the associate and affiliate members, these seven full members now find themselves without any real power. Some sort of alliance would be most welcome. It's likely to be the only way to survive.
Forget match fixing, forget DRS controversies, forget batsmen not walking and forget any other spirit of cricket nonsense. This is the real threat to cricket. It is a return to the dark days of the past. It is a 19th century method of governance for a 21st century sport.
The Woolf Report contained a vision for the ICC in 2015. This included a wish for independent directors who made decisions in the best interest of the game rather than their own - often short term - self interests. We're now even further away from this than we were two years ago. Instead, we seem to be heading towards the opposite.
It seems that the future of cricket will be England, India and Australia playing each other over and over again in increasingly meaningless contests and dividing up the money amongst themselves, occasionally throwing a few scraps down to the serfs that make up the rest of international cricket. Some of course would argue that this only formalises a situation that already exists.
But there is a positive. The leaking of the reports has been accompanied by near universal condemnation from crickets most important stakeholders - the fans. They see the inherent unfairness in the proposals, and are outspoken in their disapproval.
But the big three don't listen to the fans. They only pay attention to their bank balances. And that's precisely why we've got into this mess. Lord Woolf said as much two years ago.