Don't reject Woolf report - Sutherland
The ICC executive board would be "silly" to simply reject the recommendations of the Woolf report on cricket's global governance as a result of Indian objections, the Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has said.
Cricket's global governors were initially silent on the findings of the report, which recommended vast changes to the ICC's executive board structure while also offering a wide range of measures to improve its conduct. The first to speak was the BCCI president N Srinivasan, who emerged from a meeting in Chennai to say his board's working committee had rejected it. England board officials are also understood to have expressed reservations about Woolf's findings.
Despite India's position as the game's undisputed power-base, Sutherland said it would be hasty to presume that the report was now destined for the ICC's dustbin, and encouraged ICC executive board members to strive for best governance practice when they met again in April.
"Cricket Australia's view on that is the members of the board of the ICC have commissioned this review, it has got some recommendations about what's best practice and from that viewpoint it would be silly to just throw it out," Sutherland said in Sydney. "No organisation should be satisfied that it can't improve in some way by taking on recommendations to bring us closer to best practice.
"I think there is a lot of really good stuff there and sensible stuff about best practice governance and that is what any cricket organisation, any proper organisation, would want. There's also some practicalities of course in getting from one step to the next and they're the challenges the directors and ultimately the members will need to tackle."
Before the next ICC executive board meeting is a chief executives committee gathering in Dubai in March, at which Sutherland will be present. While Sutherland said he would not be surprised if the Woolf report did not actually reach the official agenda of that meeting, he was in little doubt that its findings and their implications would be mulled over at length by global chief executives.
But, in the end, the matter lies primarily with the executive board, he said. "It's a [executive] board issue first and foremost. As I understand it, the board received the report and didn't really have much discussion on it in the [previous] meeting; their next meeting is some time in April, so that is really the next stage. Cricket Australia will discuss it a little bit at our board meeting on the 27th - that is something that will be a little bit of a process."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here