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June 26, 2014
ICC constitutional revamp gets official sanction
N Srinivasan has been confirmed as the ICC's first chairman after constitutional changes to the governing body were passed at the annual conference in Melbourne on Thursday.
Smooth passage of the changes devised by the "Big Three" of India, England and Australia had been expected after a set of broad resolutions were approved by Full Member countries earlier this year.
Srinivasan had been barred from his role as BCCI president due to a Supreme Court of India investigation into IPL corruption but had spent the preceding two days, with Australia's Wally Edwards and England's Giles Clarke, explaining the new landscape to delegates, including Associate and Affiliate members.
Following the conclusion of the conference meeting, Srinivasan spoke trenchantly of his innocence in the face of allegations tabled to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope.
"As far as I'm concerned I have done nothing wrong, there is no wrongdoing on my part, and therefore my conscience is very clear, that there is no taint on me," he said. "Whatever investigations there are will take their course, it will come out, reports will come out. But unless I have in my mind any doubt I have done anything ... I have to think if I have not done [wrong], I do not have any concern."
In March, the Supreme Court of India had recommended that Srinivasan step aside as BCCI president while the investigations into the IPL were on, and the court has since turned down his appeals to be reinstated twice.
Srinivasan was also adamant that the wider issue of corruption in cricket should not be seen as a major blight on the game, regardless of recent revelations surrounding the former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent and his Sussex team-mate Naved Arif, alongside charges sustained against Mohammed Ashraful in the Bangladesh Premier League.
"I think the ICC has taken a lot of steps to root out whatever problems are sniffing at world cricket today," he said. "As a result of the efforts of the ACSU and the education programmes they have put in place around the world, I think one can say that there is substantial improvement and I can't accept that cricket has an image problem. There may have been some instances, rare instances [of corruption], few and far between, but I think almost all cricket is very competitive and very fair."
As for questions around whether Srinivasan was the right man to lead world cricket into the future, having long stated his primary responsibility as a representative of the BCCI, the India Cements and Chennai Super Kings owner argued that he should be judged on what he achieved over the term of his chairmanship.
"I believe that some of the criticism is not fair to me and is not well-founded. Beyond that all I can say is that over a long period of time I have been involved with cricket and it's administration, and one must judge me by results," he said. "It is the first day, I've just been elected, and one has to wait and see as to what is the effect I have on the ICC and on cricket, before you make that judgement."
The BCCI termed Srinivasan's appointment "a proud and historic moment for Indian cricket". "As India takes the leadership position in world cricket, the responsibility of guiding the game in these challenging times could not have found a better leader than Mr Srinivasan," Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, said in a statement. "This establishes the important role that the BCCI will essay, as we take this responsibility to work with other members during these days of growth."
The conference meeting was orderly and served primarily as a rubber stamp to changes that have been in the winds for more than a year. No opposition to the constitutional changes, nor Srinivasan's chairmanship, was mounted. In the words of one delegate "we were all lambs and said 'yes' in all the right places".
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettigFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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