'There are racial connotations' April 27, 2008

Speed decision 'disgraceful' says former ICC chief

Cricinfo staff

Malcolm Gray: 'Whether it's a cricket body or a corporation you don't bare your dirty washing in public if you can help it' © Getty Images
Former ICC president Malcolm Gray has slammed the decision to send Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, on gardening leave until his contract expires on July 4.

"I think it's disgraceful. To me it smacks of mismanagement of a man leaving his position. By doing this it just shows there are problems," Gray , who hired Speed in 2001, told The Age. "Whether it's a cricket body or a corporation you don't bare your dirty washing in public if you can help it. In this case I'd have thought it would be completely avoidable.

"I suspect parts of the problems ... have been brought about by the use of power, with the money flowing in, underlying a lot of decisions in international bodies. Regrettably, there are racial connotations."

Creagh O'Connor, the chairman of Cricket Australia, paid tribute to Speed. "I note with regret that Malcolm Speed's distinguished career as an international cricket administrator has ended in the manner in which it has," O'Connor said. "I have worked with Malcolm for many years during his time as chief executive officer of the then Australian Cricket Board and, for the last seven years, as chief executive of the ICC.

"I know first-hand of the dispassionate, professional and diligent manner in which he has sought for cricket to achieve high standards of administrative excellence."

Hinting that the decision highlighted rifts within the executive board, he added: "As many have noted in the last few days, administering the ICC, which features a diverse global constituency, is a challenging task.

"Cricket is becoming a genuinely global sport and will only have a long-term, sustainable future if the diverse interests within the game can put the game's interests ahead of any other interests."