The controversy over former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnans appointment as players representative on the International Cricket Councils (ICC) Cricket Committee was re-ignited on Thursday with the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) referring the matter to the ICC ethics officer for an independent investigation.
FICA said it took the step after it failed to convince the ICC that it was not following its own processes for dealing with unethical behaviour,following allegations that most of the captains were coerced by their respective boards to change their initial votes which were in favour of Australian Tim May.
We have evidence of captains being pressured by their boards into changing their votes… in favour of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and we will present this to the ethics officer. The evidence is strong and we expect it to be acted upon, said FICA executive chairman Paul Marsh.
Sivaramakrishnan,the Indian cricket boards candidate,beat May for the job,resulting in a controversy as reports emerged that captains had overwhelmingly voted for May in the initial election before a repoll was conducted to ensure the Indians appointment.
However,BCCI vice-president Niranjan Shah said the BCCI did not recognise FICA. As far as BCCI is concerned,FICA has no locus standi. However,if the issue has been raised by FICA,our officials who are attending the ICC conference in London will give an appropriate reply, Shah told The Indian Express.
FICA tried to get the ICC to refer this matter to the ethics officer. However,after over six weeks of no action,we are left with no choice but to refer the matter ourselves, said Marsh. The decision was taken at a FICA board meeting in London last week.
Sadly this is yet another example of the poor governance practices that exist in cricket. The ICC should be taking these allegations seriously,but they are ignoring the processes under their own code and hoping the matter will go away, said Marsh.
The FICA executive also met teams and players during the week and came up with a statement of unity. In the statement,the players have said,We support FICA as the voice of professional cricketers everywhere and expect it to receive due recognition and respect by the ICC and our respective boards as it plays its role in representing our interests. We further expect crickets administrators to ensure our great game is managed off the field to the same high standards of dignity and integrity as those to which we are committed.