May 8, 2013 1:00:37 am
The Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) demanded an International Cricket Committee (ICC) ethics committee enquiry into the BCCI-supported appointment of L Sivaramakrishnan as a players representative in the world body. FICA alleges that captains may have been forced to vote against the incumbent Tim May.
FICAs legal advisor Ian Smith said Boards were pressurised despite ICC warnings of not interfering in the secret vote. In light of media reports that five ICC full member boards applied direct pressure on their captains to amend their votes in the recent elections,FICAs official stance is that these allegations must warrant careful and independent scrutiny, Smith said. Especially because we understand ICC specifically instructed the Boards not to interfere in the voting process, he was quoted as saying,by ESPNCricinfo.
Sivaramakrishnan replaced May,who is also the FICA CEO,on the ICC Cricket Committee after a reported re-vote pushed for by the BCCI. It is alleged that in the initial vote,May had won 9-1 but the BCCI coerced the Cricket Boards of Pakistan,Bangladesh,Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe into asking their respective captains to vote for Sivaramakrishnan.
Smith rejected the argument that lobbying for a post should not be construed as threatening. It is further apparent from statements made by unnamed ICC Board sources overnight that they are trying to position the involved Boards actions as lobbying,but there should be a very clear distinction made between a candidate lobbying for a vote and an employer threatening an employee to change their vote.
Jimmy Adams,former West Indies captain and FICA president,said the election has created serious doubts about the credibility of the ICC. How can the players of the world look to ICC for leadership in these circumstances and how does the spirit of cricket apply to the organisation itself? Adams asked. The reported actions of some of the Member Boards and ICC directors,at the very least warrant investigation under this Code…cricket deserves a lot better, he said.
May himself sought to play down his alleged anti-BCCI image,saying it was not as black and white as that. There are some aspects of BCCI that I am a strong supporter of and there are other aspects that concern me and others. Unfortunately,only the negative stuff gets publicised, he replied. He also said that he was more focussed on the ICC policing its own standards in terms of governance than whether or not he was voted into the committee.
A sad day for cricket
Reactions Down Under,though,have been far less subdued. Its a really sad day for cricket, Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Paul Marsh said on Monday. This issue encapsulates all thats wrong with cricket at the moment. The Australian cricketers union called the ICC the most ineffective governing body in world sport and is not ruling out industrial action.
From a players perspective,we are very angry and we want the ICC to act, Marsh said. But to be honest with you,Im pessimistic that it will do so. I dont think any of the boards are strong enough to stand up to India.
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