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Tim May astonished over likely ICC move to install corruption suspect as chief

Former players' boss Tim May finds it incomprehensible that directors of the International Cricket Council could endorse Indian heavyweight Narayanaswami Srinivasan to head the sport while he is exiled from his own board and embroiled in a corruption investigation.

That is precisely what is likely to happen when the world's cricket administrators descend on the MCG next week for important ICC meetings.

May no longer works in cricket, having quit as head of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations earlier than intended last year in disillusionment with global cricket politics.

But the former Australian off-spinner has spoken out ahead of the ICC annual conference in Melbourne at which members will sign off on controversial reforms that hand the boards of India, England and Australia more power and a bigger share of profits.

May believes all members of the ICC, not just England and Australia, are responsible. 

The Indian businessman is suspended as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India by that country's Supreme Court while allegations of corruption against his IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings, and his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, are investigated.

The court suggested Srinivasan had turned a blind eye, and ruled that he must step down in the interests of a fair investigation.

“I don’t understand how the other directors, if they are fulfilling their responsibilities to the ICC, and their obligations under the code of ethics, could possibly endorse Mr Srinivasan for the chairmanship at this time,” May told Fairfax Media from his home in Austin, Texas.

“Especially in the times we face at the moment where cricket’s greatest enemy is this thing called corruption which seems to be permeating from international cricket through to the domestic leagues.

“In that climate, where the ICC needs to show leadership, needs to show its integrity and its want to address this issue, I don’t understand how they could possibly vote for a candidate ... who back in India [is] allegedly facing charges for corruption in his capacity as a managing director of his regular employment with Indian Cements.

"A candidate whose IPL franchise is currently under investigation for corruption. A candidate whose son-in-law has been charged with various offences relating to betting and corruption in IPL matches, specifically related to the franchise that the candidate owns. And a candidate who has been held by a court-appointed commission to have lied to the commission as to the role his son-in-law plays with this franchise.

“When they sit down and consider a candidate who has those black marks, question marks, whatever you’d like to call them, against his name, the directors need to have a look at the code of ethics and see if they can possibly endorse such a nomination.''

Clause 2.1 of the code of ethics states: “Each director shall act in an honest and ethical manner. In order to facilitate the transparent operation of the ICC, conduct that gives the appearance of impropriety will also be unacceptable. Directors shall not engage in any conduct that in any way denigrates the ICC or harms its public image.”

However, the code carries little weight. The major currency is Indian tours, upon which most boards depend for financial survival.

Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards is known to have contacted Srinivasan in recent weeks to convey concerns about his position, but he was unmoved.

Former ICC president Ehsan Mani has described Indian threats to break away from the ICC if they were not given a greater share of revenue as "laughable", and said England and Australia should have called India's bluff.

"[England and Australia] should have just stopped and thought about what is in the best interest of the game, instead of panicking - which they clearly did - and started trying to compromise the organisation," Mani told ESPNcricinfo.

"What they have done is terrible for the governance of world cricket."

Former ICC and CA boss Malcolm Speed is another to have strongly opposed Srinivasan for the top job.

“Cricket has wrestled with the fight against corruption for more than a decade," Speed told an Indian TV channel before details of a widespread corruption case built on the testimony of confessed fixer Lou Vincent became public.

"The ICC president must continue to lead this fight and must be beyond reproach... Mr Srinivasan’s candidacy as ICC president cannot continue while he remains involved at the epicentre of the current investigation and is subject to damning criticism by the Supreme Court.”

3 comments so far

  • Is not the fair and logical thing to do is defer a new appointment until the investigations are completed. If there is no case to answer following completion of the enquiry then Srinivasan should assume the appointment. If there is proven guilt however his appointment must be untenable.

    Commenter
    John Boxall
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    June 20, 2014, 7:34AM
    • Can't see the point of the whole propostition in the first place. All Test playing nations should be equal on the ICC and no representative should remain in active office while under investigation for crime or corruption.
      I respect Tim May's unclouded ethical judgment on this issue.

      Commenter
      Christopher
      Location
      Anglo-Australia
      Date and time
      June 21, 2014, 12:08PM
  • The only thing I find surprising is that Tim May is surprised. Keep speaking out.

    Commenter
    no-ball
    Location
    bent
    Date and time
    June 20, 2014, 10:05AM

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