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FICA call for ethics enquiry into May's ICC exit

Daniel Brettig

May 7, 2013

Comments: 80 | Text size: A | A

ICC cricket committee during its annual meeting, London, May 30, 2012
The ICC cricket committee, seen here in 2012, will no longer have Tim May as a member © Getty Images
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Tim May's removal from the ICC cricket committee following allegations of pressure exerted by the BCCI to install their preferred candidate Laxman Sivaramakrishnan should be the subject of an ICC ethics committee enquiry, according to the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA) of which May is the chief executive.

Ian Smith, FICA's legal advisor, has also said that the players' body is aware the ICC warned member nations not to interfere with the voting process but then did nothing when those warnings were ignored, accusing Boards of applying "direct pressure on their captains to amend their votes." He said there had been been a "very clear distinction" between routine "lobbying" before an election and "threatening an employee to change their vote."

"In light of media reports that five ICC full member boards applied direct pressure on their captains to amend their votes in the recent elections, FICA's official stance is that these allegations must warrant careful and independent scrutiny," Smith said. "Especially because we understand ICC specifically instructed the Boards not to interfere in the voting process.

"The actions, allegedly instigated by BCCI, are a timely and stark reminder of the very serious shortcomings in governance at ICC highlighted more than a year ago by the Woolf Report and about which ICC has done nothing in the intervening period.

May wants ICC governance to be the focus

  • Tim May, who was ousted from the ICC Cricket Committee and replaced by former Indian spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, has said the perception that he is anti-BCCI was wrong.
  • "There are some aspects of BCCI that I am a strong supporter of and there are other aspects that concern me and others," May told PTI. "Unfortunately, only the negative stuff gets publicised."
  • When asked whether he felt a particular board was influencing others, May said: "This is an issue that has been identified and raised by a number of parties for a significant number of years, including Woolf Committee's report on ICC's governance. Indeed I am more focused on the ICC policing its own stated standards in terms of governance - this is the real issue, not whether I got voted onto this committee."

"It is further apparent from statements made by unnamed ICC Board sources overnight that they are trying to position the involved Boards' actions as 'lobbying', but there should be a very clear distinction made between a candidate lobbying for a vote and an employer threatening an employee to change their vote."

May, a staunch advocate of players' rights for more than a decade, lost his place as one of two current players' representatives on the cricket committee following a captains' vote to Sivaramakrishnan, who is employed by the BCCI as a television commentator.

Jimmy Adams, the former West Indies captain and FICA president, said the process by which May was ousted has raised major questions of the ICC's ethics. He also questioned how the game's governing body had the right to stand in judgement over the actions of the players when its own moral compass is so often found to be lacking.

"How can the players of the world look to ICC for leadership in these circumstances and how does the spirit of cricket apply to the organisation itself?" Adams said. "Board members didn't like how their captains intended to vote, so they apparently ordered them to change that vote. This type of behaviour from the game's ruling body makes a mockery of their motives behind the procurement of the Woolf report.

"FICA want ICC to use its own processes to deal with this. It has a Code of Ethics with which Directors and Members need to comply - the reported actions of some of the Member Boards and ICC directors, at the very least warrant investigation under this Code. We call on ICC to hold itself up to the high standards of moral conduct it constantly tells the players and officials it expects from them.

"Ultimately, these actions are symptoms of poor governance at the top level and a blatant disregard for what most would regard as the necessary ethical standards required to run a prominent international sport - cricket deserves a lot better."

Comment has been sought from the ICC and the BCCI.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Harmony111 on (May 9, 2013, 23:44 GMT)

Relax gbqdgj and other guys. Si Baker has attributed something to Siva that he never said. Si Baker first has to prove that Siva indeed said that. I know that things like proof and logic are somewhat difficult for Si Baker to understand and this is why he tends to talk about imaginary things just to be seen as saying something. Have you not seen his comment? Dismissing Siva just cos he has squeaky voice (which too btw is partly false) shows what kind of thinking Si Baker has. Chill.

Posted by gbqdgj on (May 9, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

@KK47...much of what you say I agree with but "Wankhede one of the traditional homes of world cricket". Really? Tell me how this would be the case given that it was only opened in 1975? Frankly it's not even the home of cricket in India let alone in the world. To suggest otherwise just to defend Siva is just plain silly and you undermine your other arguments by suggesting otherwise.

Posted by yoohoo on (May 9, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

@SurlyCynic - There was no such past in the 70s and 80s. Neither was india considered major enough to complain, nor did they bother. Eng and Aus just did what they wanted, and nobody complained, everybody else just adjusted to that scenario. Were there any indians in any position of authority back in the 70s/80s? Do you know India played Eng about once a decade (every 8 yrs) back then? It is fair enough that India now expects Aus and Eng to shut up and adjust to the new dynamics, instead of whinging all the time.

Posted by amitgarg78 on (May 8, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

@diddles None of this proves Siva cannot do the job. It's a lot easier once you let go of the "I am superior" mindset. I have nothing against May, but to assume that he could occupy the chair in perpetuity is just not acceptable. And as for the moral science sermon, lesser said the better. That was the kind of comment that fuels the " us vs them" or "colonial" debates on such forums. Why can't people just accept that they lost and move on?

Posted by diddles on (May 8, 2013, 10:54 GMT)

Here we see yet again the undermining of a proper cricket ruling body by our good friends on the Sub-continent. May was a first class representative of the interests of all professional cricketers, a man who comes from a country in Australia where the industrial relations idea of a fair day's pay for a fair day's work is long entrenched in its culture. He come's from a country where straight talk is not an uncommon quality and where people in the majority, like their brothers and sisters in England and New Zealand have little time or respect for unfettered corruption.

The ICC needs such people at the centre of its administration, not people who kowtow to every bit of shenigans that seems too often to take place on the Sub-continent. Yes India does supply a lot cricket's wealth..but that's like running the only pub in Sydney..any fool could make a profit. In the sporting markets that exist in England, Australia and New Zealand, an administrator to survive needs to have serious skill.

Posted by KK47 on (May 8, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

Chris_P, wrong again. I am not sure if you read the article by jarrod kimber but it's clear that Ban, Pak and SL players were not happy about May's stance against thier respective T20 leagues. And before the election results announced BCCI insider had clearly dismissed allegations that initially 9 members were favouring May's inclusion as baseless. As I said before, unless any of the actual electors come out and accuse BCCI (or anyone) that they were influenced, I see no reason why this allegation by FICA should be entertained.

Posted by Chris_P on (May 8, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

@KK47. The Sri Lankan, BD & Pakistan captain, did, in fact all vote for May in the initial ballot. BD & SL have player associations in FICA.

Posted by KK47 on (May 8, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

@Si Baker: Siva is a respected commentator and his voice is just fine. He has a common south Indian accent and though you may not like it but lot many do. Just like Lord's and MCG, Wankhede is one of the traditional home of world cricket. He is not wrong in that. Stop being so prejudiced.

Posted by KK47 on (May 8, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

@Chirs_P, see from whatever angle, captains from Ind, SL, Ban and Pak had absolutely no reason to vote for May. I don't know about ZIM but I don't think May has done anything to them except talking infront of media. Only Sammy's vote seems iffy but I guess its unfair to blame BCCI for that one. And don't forget Gayle's saga in WI and I didn't see May running to solve matters anytime during that disgraceful episode. Even though I am not a fan of BCCI, their decision to lobby for LS is understandable. BTW, there is no allegation towards BCCI from ANY member that any financial blackmail has been done. I don't think it was necessary anyway.

Posted by Bang_La on (May 8, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

Tim May, what goes up, will go down!

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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