Srinivasan assumes ICC chief role with ‘clear conscience’

Suspended BCCI president ushers new cricketing era as ‘Big Three’ take charge.


Afp June 26, 2014

MELBOURNE: Controversial Indian cricket chief N Srinivasan – currently suspended from his country board’s post –said his conscience was clear after being elected Thursday as the new International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman at the world body’s annual conference.

The powerful industrialist was appointed despite being suspended by India’s Supreme Court as the country’s top cricket official after being named in a damning report into corruption allegations in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

His ascension to the top job follows changes last February to the governance of the ICC, which handed the majority of power and revenues to the sport’s ‘Big Three’ nations — India, Australia and England.

Under the new structure, an ICC executive committee has been formed, chaired by Cricket Australia head Wally Edwards, with England and Wales Cricket Board’s Giles Clarke heading up the finance and commercial affairs committee.

Srinivasan, 69, denied he was not a fit and proper person to become the first chairman of the ICC, which was previously headed by a president.

He said that instead of being suspended, he ‘voluntarily’ stepped down while the corruption claims were being looked into by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“Now as far as I am concerned, I have done nothing wrong,” he told a media conference in Melbourne where the annual meeting was held.

“My conscience is very clear that there is no taint on me and whatever investigations will take its course, reports will come out.”

Srinivasan was among 13 people named in the IPL corruption allegations.

The IPL T20 competition has been embroiled in allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing, including against Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings.

‘ICC working hard to root out corruption’

Srinivasan denied that the ICC had an image problem, with an inquiry currently under way into corruption that has rocked world cricket.

“I can’t accept that cricket has an image problem,” he said. “There may have been some instances. Rare instances, few and far between.

“The ICC has been taking very strong steps. They have an anti-corruption and security unit which has done extremely good work. They don’t publicise what they do.”

The new ICC head said that he was looking forward to his new assignment.

“I will leave no stone unturned in trying to strengthen the pillars and foundations of our sport, both on and off the field.

“I want to see more strong teams in international cricket. For this to be achieved, we all need to work hard to develop local talent in our countries.”  

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2014.

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