ICC news October 16, 2013

BCCI likely to demand inquiry against Becker

The BCCI is likely to recommend an ethics commission inquiry against former ICC official David Becker for having gone public with confidential information related to the game's governance in a statement last week. The ICC's executive board will meet in London on October 17 and 18, and it is expected that the Becker statement will be brought into focus again.

In his statement released to the media last week, Becker had said it was "improper" to allow a member body to "blatantly disregard an ICC resolution".

Becker was referring to the uncertainty over India's tour of South Africa, which was originally scheduled to begin on November 18. Becker had left the ICC in July 2012, due to what he called "questionable governance" within the organisation. His statement listed three examples, all relating to the "dominance of BCCI President N Srinivasan"; the "most concerning one" related to the FTP issue over the Indian tour to South Africa.

The BCCI's plan to call for an Ethics Committee inquiry is said to be based on their "evidence" that, at the time of making a public statement, Becker was an acting advisor to Cricket South Africa. BCCI insiders allege that Becker's statement came at the behest of an "aide" within CSA. The BCCI is expected to use this argument to appeal to other Full Members to avoid recurrence of a Becker-like situation that could be, in the words of a BCCI insider, "damaging" for the governance of cricket by any official involved in the game.

Another important issue that is likely to come up for discussion during the two-day meeting is the appointment of the first ICC chairman, an all-powerful executive head of ICC. In 2012, the ICC executive board had reduced the role of the ICC president to a ceremonial one and amended its constitution, vesting executive powers in the chairman. The 10 Full Members had unanimously agreed that the ICC president's post would become a rotational one from 2014 while a chairman would lead the executive board and take all important decisions.

It is understood that N Srinivasan and Giles Clarke, the two main contenders for the post of chairman, met over lunch on Tuesday.

The executive board had stated that the creation of the post of chairman was "consistent with recommendations in the Woolf Report." Lord Woolf, leading the ICC's independent governance review, had submitted a 60-page report last year wherein he made 65 radical recommendations. One of his recommendations was a complete revamp of the ICC's executive structure, while another suggested a decline in the role of Full Members and the handover of powers to independent directors. Of all his recommendations, the creation of the post of chairman has been taken on by ICC's executive board with alacrity.

According to the Woolf recommendations, the ICC's chairman should not hold any leadership or executive post in their home boards. It is a condition that may be of interest both to Srinivasan, the BCCI president, and Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board. The agenda for the meeting does not feature Becker or the position of the ICC chairman, but discussions are likely to be held on the sidelines and have their own consequences.

One of the more important points on the agenda concerns the discussion and final decision on the four venues of the World Twenty20, scheduled to be played in Bangladesh between March 16 and April 6, 2014.

After its annual conference in June, ICC had extended the deadline to August to ensure that the four venues met required standards. The report of the ICC's inspection panel, which recently completed its tour of the four venues - Sylhet, Cox's Bazaar, Chittagong and Mirpur - will be submitted to the executive board.

The ICC's executive board comprises the heads of every Full Member board, three representatives from the Associates and Affiliates, and the ICC's president, vice-president and chief executive.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo; Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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