ICC news February 1, 2016

Clarke's ICC chairman bid hits rocks

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Giles Clarke, pictured with Cricket Ireland chairman Ross McCollum, faces opposition in his bid to become ICC chairman © Peter Della Penna

Giles Clarke's hopes of becoming the next chairman of the ICC appear to be receding, with neither Australia nor South Africa expected to support his candidacy should he choose to stand for election later this year.

In order to fulfil his long-held ambition and assume the most high-profile post in world cricket, Clarke would require a majority of the 13 board votes - comprising ten full-member nations and three associate representatives - at the ICC election in June.

However, with campaigning expected to get underway in earnest at this week's board meeting in Dubai, it is understood that Cricket South Africa is particularly opposed to Clarke's candidacy, at a time when many of the reforms that he was so instrumental in driving through during the so-called "Big Three" takeover of 2014 are set to be repealed.

"Giles Clarke is the type of personality to say it so much that people believe he is the chairman, and that's it. That's not the case," a CSA insider told journalists at a briefing in South Africa. "We have written to the ICC and it is on the agenda for changing the constitution. There is every likelihood that the ICC will reverse the structure and the things that it did two years ago."

CSA's opposition has been matched by that of Cricket Australia, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, with the new board chairman, David Peever, understood to have distanced himself from the role played in the takeover by his predecessor, Wally Edwards, who retired from the post last year.

With N Srinivasan, the former president of the BCCI and inaugural chairman of the ICC, being forced to stand down from both roles after being found by India's Supreme Court to have had a conflict of interest in his ownership of the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, Clarke is the last remaining architect of the ICC power-grab and, as such, is increasingly seen as being the wrong man to lead the board in a climate of counter-reformation.

The weakness of the other seven Test nations since the takeover is understood to be a cause of widespread concern among ICC board members, with West Indies still smarting from a humiliating tour of Australia and the PCB particularly aggrieved at the decentralisation of the Future Tours Programme, which has been replaced since 2014 by a series of bilateral agreements. The idea of a Test championship, shelved last year in favour of a rebooted Champions Trophy, could also be put to a vote.

A widespread "review of ICC constitutional amendments" is also expected to be on the table in Dubai this week, with one anticipated change, according to the Telegraph, being the requirement for all future ICC chairmen to be independent of their member boards.

Assuming that that change is rubber-stamped - and Shashank Manohar, the current chairman, has driven it through in response to the Srinivasan scandal - Clarke would then be obliged to resign his post as ECB president in order to stand as ICC chairman. Clarke's new ECB role was specially created at the end of his eight-year tenure as ECB chairman in 2015, ostensibly to provide continuity at ICC level while the board's new management duo, Colin Graves and Tom Harrison, bedded into their roles of chairman and chief executive respectively.

However, the reluctance of Cricket Australia to endorse Clarke is not believed to reflect any weakened standing for the ECB's new bosses among their peers at the ICC. Peever, the former managing director of Rio Tinto, met with Harrison and Graves in Singapore before Christmas, with James Sutherland, CA's long-standing chief executive, also present. It was there, during an apparently cordial meeting, that the decision not to endorse Clarke's candidature was expressed.

When asked about the implications of the proposed reforms for Clarke's future with the ECB, a board spokesman told ESPNcricinfo that it would not be appropriate to speculate on the outcome of a meeting that has not yet been held.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets @miller_cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • alim_1122 on February 5, 2016, 11:55 GMT

    I propose Shachin Tendulkar as the Next chairman of the ICC.

  • Harris652 on February 2, 2016, 21:04 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster - FIFA? Are you serious? I'd suggest that they are hardly a role model for any sports governing body.

  • ramz30380 on February 2, 2016, 18:33 GMT

    If the big 3 want to keep the top posts to themselves, I can live with it, but the revenue sharing model is no good. Honestly, ICC is becoming capitalist. I think the revenue needs to be equally distributed, this way, it will help players in countries that dont have a rich board. To inculcate profit sharing, this is not a business. Its best tht ICC keeps businessmen out and has ex-players in who will take steps in the best interest of the game.

  • johnthekiwi on February 2, 2016, 17:18 GMT

    The likelihood of finding someone who actually played the game at the highest levels for a protracted period who is politically savvy and a good communicator is pretty low. They also have to love the game first without being so blinded by that love that they lose track of the financial element (but that is what a background squad of accountants/marketing and Big 3 money grubbers is there for). I'd look amongst the upper echelons of the commentariat as a potential source. I may be a bit one eyed on this but I think I.D.S Smith would be a good choice. He sounds a bit churlish some times but that is just because he calls a spade a spade (and will no doubt have some diplomacy forced on him). But he really loves the game and has the fans foremost in his thoughts. I wouldn't give him an unlimited meals budget though! Low blow yeah but Smithy we want you around for a bit yet mate. Holding would be on the list and my dark horse would be Geoff Lawson. Terrifically talented and intelligent guy

  • stevehadd on February 2, 2016, 15:21 GMT

    What cricket needs is for the chairman to come from outside the big-3, so that the chairman provides a counter-balance to the monetary power of the big-3 and is a voice for the sport of cricket as a whole, not just the commercial interests of the ECB, BCCI and CA.

  • EdwinD on February 2, 2016, 13:33 GMT

    This is great news for the game of cricket - if it was up to Clarke England would be playing the Ashes every year, summer and winter.........

  • UndertheGrill on February 2, 2016, 13:33 GMT

    At last, some good news emanating from the ICC. Keep Clarke as far away as possible!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on February 2, 2016, 12:58 GMT

    When are we finally going to get an Test Championship. Please dont tell me the money isnt there for it, because there definitely is.

  • Kotuwegogoda on February 2, 2016, 9:47 GMT

    It's time that Srilanka is honoured with ICC chairmanship. Being a nation with over 32 years as a full member still not given the role. We have won ODI and T20 Championships sponsored by ICC. It's time the position is rotated, each full member gets once. They should be re-eligible only after other full members get their nominee.

  • Mindmaker on February 2, 2016, 9:42 GMT

    Mr Clarke must not be allowed anywhere any that powerful post. He has capably shown us what he can do with less power.

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