Point-blank: ICC’s credibility in question

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken decisions in the past that has earned them the tag of “toothless tiger” more often than not. So by denying one of its full members Sri Lanka a seat at their last Board meeting held in Dubai by reducing them to observer status - a position that was totally unacceptable to Sri Lanka who declined to attend the meeting – they were once again displaying their double standards.

The ICC’s grouse against Sri Lanka was that it was an interim committee that was currently administering cricket in the country and as a result they cannot be recognized as a full member. Further the ICC had also decided to delay paying Sri Lanka their due share of the World Cup profits which amounts to US$16 million.

Sri Lanka cricket being administered by interim committees is not something new to the ICC, because the present one in place is the eighth in the last 16 years. The ICC may have put in place certain rules over the past three years that they are clearly against government interference over the running affairs of their member countries, but if it has been done for a specific purpose, it is wrong for them to deny the country of its rightful place and to withhold the monies that are due to them.

In this instance an interim committee – a credible one at that has been put in place to investigate on alleged malpractices of the past administration under the stewardship of an honorary secretary whom the great Kumar Sangakkara pointed out in his letter to Sri Lanka Cricket not long ago was “appointed” and “not elected” to the post.

Was the ICC blind that it failed to recognize the political interference in that appointment then or did it conveniently let it pass as an “internal matter’ and failed to act?”
Further where was the ICC’s Code of Ethics and stand on transparency where its members are concerned when the secretary whilst holding office secured a lucrative local rights for all Sri Lankan matches for a private TV station in his role as CEO of that company.
After overlooking all these factors why is the ICC making a big fuss now?

It seemed the Minister of Sport had touched a nerve of the ICC when he was reported by one website to have said that certain members of the ICC were “colluding” with past SLC officials in making life difficult for the interim committee, a comment which SLC has denied after checking the authenticity of it with the Minister.

Further reacting to the media release put out by the ICC after the Board meeting, SLC in a strongly worded letter to ICC’s CE David Richardson which was also released to the media has explained how the ICC has gone back on their decision after accepting the interim committee’s nominee Nuski Mohamed as the SLC’s representative at the Board meeting.

The SLC letter also points out that the ICC had sent to the interim committee chairman Sidath Wettimuny the confidential Board papers and other documents to enable SLC to participate at the meeting and also draws attention to the fact that there was no intimation whatsoever prior to the Board meeting of any matter being looked into by the Governance Committee or ICC and, no such matter being listed in the agenda.

The ICC’s decision to withhold the monies due to Sri Lanka for past events, the SLC notes with regret is in breach of the Agreements between SLC and ICC is “without lawful authority”.

The ICC has many skeletons in its cupboard the biggest one being its chairman N. Srinivasan who has no right to sit in judgment over other member nations when he is disowned by his own cricket Board the BCCI. The Supreme Court of India in January disqualified Srinivasan from holding the post of president of BCCI and as president of the Tamil Nadu CA, but unashamedly he continues as chairman of the ICC.

The Cricket Association of Bihar in a letter to the Ethics Officer Legal Head ICC states: “It is ironical that a man who is unfit to be president of BCCI is being allowed by ICC to become as chairman. ICC is being brought to public ridicule due to its insensitivity to public opinion and standards of probity and institutional integrity.

“The Cricket Association of Bihar will be relentless in its pursuit to prevent the tainted Mr N. Srinivasan from heading the highest international cricket body.

“The Association will file an application in the pending case before the Hon’ble Supreme Court to implead ICC in the case questioning the conduct of ICC which has its own Anti Corruption unit in allowing a person facing probe into his role in the IPL scam by a Supreme Court appointed panel to assume office as chairman ICC without regard for institutional integrity.”

As long as Srinivasan remains its chairman, the ICC’s own credibility will continue to remain in question. To restore that should be the ICC’s FIRST and URGENT priority!

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