ICC annual conference June 26, 2014

NZC backs Srinivasan's chairmanship

ESPNcricinfo staff

Martin Snedden, the New Zealand Cricket director, has backed N Srinivasan's confirmation as ICC's first chairman after the restructuring of the organisation. He said the Indian Supreme Court's decision not to interfere in Srinivasan's ICC appointment had guided NZC's decision.

Srinivasan had been barred from carrying out his duties as BCCI president by the Supreme Court, which is currently investigating allegations of fixing and corruption in IPL 2013. While the court turned down Srinivasan's appeal to be reinstated within the BCCI, it did not stop him from representing the Indian board at the ICC and he was confirmed as the world governing body's first chairman at the annual conference in Melbourne on Thursday. Snedden said NZC had studied the situation and had even sought external advice before backing Srinivasan in the ICC.

"There was a conflict of interest because the investigations related to his son-in-law [Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan concerning bets he placed on matches]," Snedden, who represents New Zealand on the ICC board, told New Zealand Herald. "Mr Srinivasan said 'Okay, I'll step aside'*. Three times the Supreme Court has been asked to exclude him from ICC affairs and each time they have said 'No, it's not our business so we won't interfere'. That alone is a tool to guide us. No one knows what the allegations are. They're under the Supreme Court seal and they don't want to risk damaging innocent reputations.

"It's the highest court in India; it's not like anyone can point the finger and say it's a shonky investigation. Ultimately they'll drive that to a conclusion, the findings will be made public and the ICC will have to deal with what comes out of it. At least then we'll be dealing with something factual ... That's not fair on Mr Srinivasan and it's not good process."

Pragmatism was also a factor in NZC's decision to back the Big Three boards, Snedden said. He admitted that the board did not believe a coalition of smaller members could withstand pressure from the BCCI, the ECB and CA. Snedden had been supportive of the proposed revamp by the three boards in January, and had also backed the BCCI's demand for a greater share of the revenue, explaining that the Indian market had "escalated out of proportion".

"Confronted with a situation where Australia and England had already agreed with India [to be permanent members on the five-member executive committee], you were dealing with three countries," Snedden said. "In those circumstances we didn't think they were bluffing, nor did we think any coalition among other members could withstand their pressure. There were all sorts of comments that it was bad for cricket and we'd stop playing the big guys but, in the four to five months since, we're about to put the finishing touches to a future tours programme until 2023 which doesn't disadvantage any of the smaller [Full Member] countries.

"We're also about to sell commercial rights to world events from 2015-2023 with India's support. In terms of stability we're miles ahead of a position where we were left guessing what stance India would take."

*The Supreme Court of India had recommended that Srinivasan step aside as BCCI president in March, and has since turned down his appeals to be reinstated twice.