Tony Irish chief executive of South Africa players association and also on the board of Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) said on Thursday that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had forced a re-vote for a crucial post in the ICCs decision-making committee during a recent election.
The Indian board had last month picked former India leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan as their candidate for the players representative on the ICC cricket committee. A report on South African website BDLive said however,that during the election conducted by email where the 10 Test playing nations captains voted,a majority of the captains had picked the Australian incumbent Tim May over the Indian veteran cricketer.
The voting for the players representative on the ICC cricket committee is done by the 10 Test captains, Irish told The Indian Express. In the first instance,it went in favour of Tim May. But,suddenly we faced a situation where Tim May was said to be unacceptable by some board and a re-voting was ordered. Some captains were pressured to change their decision and we all know that Tim is not liked by the Indian board. I dont want to go into the details. But us and some of the countries boards wondered what was the reason for the change, Irish added.
The voting was part of a secret ballot,where Test captains personally pick their representative on the two member committee. BCCI were keen on removing May,who doesnt share the most cordial of relations with India,as BCCI does not recognise FICA of which May is a board member. Amongst other things,it is believed that an Indian member on the committee would mean the BCCI could keep the controversial DRS (Decision Review System) at bay.
The ICC cricket committee debates for any changes done on-field and having Siva would have meant the Indian board would have their say in the committee. When contacted,BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale remained unavailable for comment.
Sources in the ICC said that votes were submitted much before the deadline and it is learnt that the BCCI got to know of the voting pattern,though the entire procedure was supposed to be conducted under confidentiality. The Indian board is said to have attempted to persuade various boards to ask their captains to change their votes.
BDLive claimed that the Indian board was upset with the votes they got for their candidate as they numbered 9:1 in favour of retaining May. When the Indian board learnt of this,they began effecting a change of the game,by pressing upon other boards.
The website further quoted that,Soon after realising this,a top BCCI official called the Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting CEO enquiring into who Smith had voted for. However,their captains vote was handled by the South African Cricketers Association and had nothing to do with the countrys governing body CSA.
Irish confirmed to The Indian Express that Graeme Smith backed May for the ICC cricket committees post.
He said that at present the vote was deadlocked at 5-5 and it was upto the ICC to break the tie now. Its a deadlock so ICC has to deal with it now. But the only thing I can say is that its a sad day for cricket. Players are not allowed to vote freely in cricketing matters, Irish stated.
The ICC cricket committee is schedule to meet in Lords on May 28-29.