Aussie legend slams 'the biggest bullshitters in the world' December 12, 2005

Thomson: 'ICC is a waste of space'

Cricinfo staff

Jeff Thomson: a big fan of the ICC © Getty Images
On Sunday, Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, made a strong defence of the Spirit of Cricket and criticised comments made by players in the build-up to the Australia-South Africa series.

But rather than extinguish a smouldering fire, Speed's words seem to have stirred the flames, and on Monday former Australia fast bowler Jeff Thomson launched a remarkable broadside at cricket's governing body. Talking about the ICC's attempts to restrict what players could say ahead of matches Thomson, who has always spoken his mind, slammed the ICC itself as a "waste of space".

"They ought to get their own house in order rather than worry about the players, the ICC do nothing," Thomson fumed. "They do nothing about blokes chucking, they do nothing about all this other stuff, they are more worried about words, that is all they are, full of words the ICC. They always look like they are doing something but they do nothing. They are the biggest bullshitters in the world. What a waste of space."

Speed told the media: "There have been a series of comments by players and former players ahead of the series that I believe make it necessary to remind the players of the importance of playing within the spirit of the game ahead of this series."

"You have got to have a bit of gamesmanship, that is what it is all about," Thomson argued. "It's highlighting things that aren't worth highlighting."

Terry Alderman, one of Thomson's former team-mates, also waded in. "We need some characters in the game, we don't need assaults on players out in the middle, but the banter that does go on. There's nothing wrong with that," he said. "They are putting the cart before the horse, they are almost saying there is going to be problems because of what has been written and said by players. Well, that is ridiculous. Let the game be for goodness' sake."