Mustafa Kamal stepped down from his post of ICC president on Wednesday saying that it was completely unconstitutional on the world body’s part not to allow him do the honours at the World Cup presentation ceremony. In an interview with The Indian Express, Kamal alleged that ICC has become a gang of three under the chairman N Srinivasan. Excerpts:
Why did you resign?
I’ve resigned because I can’t share the table with someone who doesn’t have any regard for the ICC constitution. ICC is a platform where we work together. But it now prefers to work in isolation. So I thought it would be better to step down.
Are you referring to N. Srinivasan?
Yes. ICC has changed for the worse under his chairmanship. Decisions have been taken arbitrarily. We had 14 teams in this World Cup. It would be 10 in the next edition. Who are taking these decisions? Also, it’s better not to work with someone who has been a controversial figure.
But the executive board have approved the decisions.
With India bringing in revenue, members have little choice. But I was always opposed to his high-handedness and in most cases stood as an isolated figure. ICC has become a gang of three. India, England and Australia are running the show. But I’ve shown the way and hopefully, others will stand up and raise their voice.
In hindsight, do you regret your comment after Bangladesh’s loss to India in the World Cup quarterfinal?
Why should I? I spoke in a personal capacity and never said anything against India. We deeply acknowledge BCCI’s help in Bangladesh cricket. We will always be grateful to Jagmohan Dalmiya for his support. He was very inclusive as ICC president. Sharad Pawar too. He brought me to the ICC fold.
But you reportedly said ICC has become Indian Cricket Council?
Even the ICC release said the no-ball was a fifty-fifty call. Why have they deleted the footage (of the incident)? Why wasn’t the spider-cam working? Why was the giant screen, operated by ICC, repeatedly flashing the message: Jitega bhai jitega, India jitega. Umpires are humans. They make mistakes. But in that game, they were handicapped by the absence of technology.
These are serious allegations. Do you’ve enough proof to support your claims?
My position prevents me to put up (conspiracy) theories out of thin air.
What happened in the board meeting on the eve of the final?
Led by Srinivasan, they asked me to offer an apology for my comment. I refused. Then they told me to withdraw my comment. I categorically said I couldn’t do that. So they said, ‘you won’t be allowed to present the winners’ trophy because you’ve belittled ICC’s position’.
I said, who will give away the trophy then? As per the Clause 3.3 (B) of ICC constitution, it is the sole responsibility of the president to give away the prizes at all global competitions under its aegis. Srinivasan did it to elevate his position and in doing so he humiliated the game of cricket. He was roundly booed at the presentation ceremony and the disapproval from the fans said it all.
Are you mulling any legal action?
No. I will never take any legal recourse against an organisation that runs the noble game of cricket. But in my letter to the ICC, I’ve asked them to look into the problems within.
Do you think your action might have a negative influence on the future India-Bangladesh bilateral cricket ties?
If we face the consequence, then we will have our answer.