Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, is calling on the International Cricket Council (ICC), world cricket’s governing body, to review the appointment of N. Srinivasan as its next chair and conduct an independent governance review of its board structure before its annual conference meets in June to adopt the changes.
Following the recent board meeting on 10 April, the ICC failed to publicly address criticism of the reforms, which concentrate power in the hands of a limited number of executive board members or the controversy surrounding Srinivasan, the architect of the new reforms.
Srinivasan, head of the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India, was recently ordered by the Indian Supreme Court to step down from his role in cricket pending investigations into match and spot-fixing allegations at the Indian Premier League, which is controlled by the BCCI. Srinivasan is managing director of Indian Cements, which owns an Indian Premier League team. He denies all the allegations.
“This lack of transparency in the decision making at the ICC does not reflect sound governance practice. The ICC is ignoring the many cricket stakeholders, including fans around the globe, who will be affected by changes in the rules,” said Deryck Murray, a former international Test cricketer and chair of Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute, which is part of the Transparency International movement.
“It is our belief that concentrating power in the hands of the few can lead to greater corruption risks. The ICC should operate in a manner that reflects integrity and fair play as well as the true spirit of the game,” added Murray.
The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, the player’s union, have also called for Srinivasan to relinquish his role at the ICC.
Although the ICC states its intention to combat corruption its actions tend to focus on allegations of match and/or spot fixing involving the players while minimising the many other forms of off-field corruption possibilities, including nepotism, cronyism and conflict of interest. Transparency International published a roadmap for reform at the ICC in October 2013, Fair Play, elaborating on anti-corruption reforms identified in an independent review conducted by Lord Woolf in 2012.
The ICC have not followed Lord Woolf’s advice or commented on Transparency International’s recommendations. Instead it introduced governance reforms that concentrate power in the hands of the three richest cricketing nations, India, Australia and England.
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