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Frustrated Tim May quits FICA

Brydon Coverdale

June 5, 2013

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Tim May at an ICC cricket committee meeting, London, May 30, 2012
Tim May has ended his 16-year involvement with players' associations © Getty Images
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Tim May has stepped down as chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) barely a month after he controversially lost his position on the ICC cricket committee to Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. May has been in charge of FICA since 2005 but said he realised over the past 18 months that he was "tiring of working in a sport that was increasingly at odds with the principles I respect".

The loss of May from the ranks of player representatives marks the end of a 16-year era, for he has been involved since becoming the inaugural president of the Australian Cricketers' Association in 1997. However, May said he had become increasingly frustrated at the direction cricket administration was taking, including its apparent unwillingness to make governance changes recommended by the Woolf Report.

"More and more we see allegations of corruption and malpractice on and off the field dominating headlines," May said. "As stakeholders in the game we look to leadership from the ICC to address these and other issues - a vital ingredient of any organisation is the ability of its leaders to set the moral and principled example to others, and to police its organisation from top to bottom to ensure adherence to those principles.

"Yet cricket increasingly seems to be pushing aside the principles of transparency, accountability, independence, and upholding the best interests of the global game, in favour of a system that appears to operate through threats, intimidation and backroom deals. Despite FICA and many other stakeholders pushing for the recommendations of the Woolf Report to be implemented to address these shortcomings, the ICC board see no reason to change."

Among other things, the Woolf Report of 2012 recommended the ICC executive board becoming more independent and less dominated by the bigger countries, and also called for greater transparency at board level. May said both the Woolf Report and 2001's Condon Report into cricket corruption should have led to positive change in the sport, including in its relationships with the players.

"I hope that the ICC and more of its board's members take heed of the recommendations of both Lord Condon and the Woolf Report and form closer and more productive relationships with players and their representatives - rather than the current trend to resist proper player representation; the players deserve better," May said.

"Increasingly the administrators of the game seek to force out or alienate those who question its alleged misuse of power, or those who seek greater transparency, or provide rational argument against the ills of the administration. It appears that some administrators just don't want to be held to account to the standards that are expected of them.

"There is a great opportunity for the ICC to arrest this trend and become one of the world's best governed sports. For the future of the global interests of the game, I hope this happens sooner than later - because the current system is failing us."

 
 
Tim was a very good cricketer but without question his greatest impact on the game was to provide a voice for players where there had been none previously Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming
 

May told the FICA board of his resignation, which is effective immediately, at its recent annual meeting. The organisation is expected to announce a new leadership structure in the coming days. Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, said the players of the current era had plenty of reasons to thanks May for his contributions to their cause.

"When I heard the news that Tim May was resigning from FICA, my immediate thoughts were that this was a sad day for the game and the world's players," Clarke said. "Throughout my time in cricket Tim has been a constant presence, taking on the tough issues on behalf of all players and doing so with amazing passion, strength and leadership. From a players' perspective, his influence on the game should never be forgotten. It's difficult to imagine where the players of today would be without Tim May's contribution."

Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said he was thankful to May in helping them form the New Zealand Players' Association in 2001. "I watched with interest as Tim established the Australian Players Association and he was then a great help to us as we got our own Association organised in 2001," he said. "Tim was a very good cricketer but without question his greatest impact on the game was to provide a voice for players where there had been none previously. This takes tremendous strength of character and real understanding of not only the playing of the sport, but also the business of the sport. The players of today and those of the future have a lot to thank him for."

Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, and AB de Villiers, the South Africa captain, also expressed gratitude on their team's behalf and said May's work meant players around the world were in a much better position.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Harmony111 on (June 8, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

@Venkat: Welcome bro. :-)

@Raghzzz: Bingo !!!. Pity no one says anything about that piece of lobbying.

@Dhanno:

The so called 1st election that May had won in Jan was not as per rules, why should it count at all? By your own logic, the 1st election too was CONTROVERSIAL and trcieks were used to win it by whosoever and later it was nullified. So where exactly is the problem? Why should so much be made of what he had won in Jan? Moreover, Tim May never represented ALL players ever so pls stop misleading people.

Lees_Legends's arguments are non-existent, I wonder what you made of his words.

If India doesn't have a players association, should they have no representation in ICC's committee too? What logic is this?

@Lees_Legends:

Your hollow reply to my pointed questions shows that you have no basis to say what you have said earlier here.

You are creating a new jurisprudence where evidence is not needed to back up claims. Anyone can say anything to label something as controversial.

Posted by Raghzzz on (June 8, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

To begin with, the technical committee role was an individual post which Tim May was contesting. He's trying to use his contacts and lobbying power acquired from being chief of FICA to get into ICC Technical committee role which is in an individual capacity.. this is as much abuse of power as it would be for BCCI which "supposedly" pushed the case of LS. Neither of them (Tim May nor BCCI/LS) are right in their way , but as it always works, the theory of survival of fittest came to the fore.

Secondly, blaming ICC to be toothless and rigid?? Why don't you try and fix it. Fight it.. Don't be a quitter!! Why to contest the election and one losing why blame the system? This is clear sour grapes..

Lastly, FICA has nothing to do with ICC Technical committee post. So, don't understand the logic of quitting FICA when not elected in the committee..

Poor Tim May..

Posted by Dhanno on (June 7, 2013, 21:45 GMT)

@Lees_legends, we would not give up the parochial views so better take your arguments to some other forum. The original cricinfo article as well as several others note that the vote was cast first time favoring May. Then some questions were "raised", backhand tactics employed, revote done and Voila we had Siva as the representative.

No one would want to Lees_legend but the point he is making is May had represented players in one capacity or other for 15 years, spoken about their payment issues/ scheduling of T20 leagues in last 2-3 years to make few enemies. India as a country does not even have a player association, and still its Siva who gets to represent the players on global level. Again, only if we could open our eyes.

Posted by Lees_Legends on (June 7, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

I answered it Harmony but not everyone is lucky enough to get all of their comments published and I'm not going to type it all out again. The gist is, 'controversial' and 'undemocratic', two different words. I've had 2 comments published already and if you still can't understand what I'm saying then there really is no hope. I can't dumb it down further. And yes if you want to call DRS controversial (not relevant though) you certainly can, and you don't need any evidence for it. Same way our author here doesn't need evidence to call the election result controversial. I'm not going to pick you apart and say you did a bad job just like Mr. Venkat did earlier.

Posted by Harmony111 on (June 6, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

@Lees_Legends: Where are you hiding now Mr. Legend? Are you of the opinion that the election was controversial simply cos May lost? Are you of the opinion that just cos the losing camp made plenty of noises, cast aspersions on some entities and that is enough ground to call the election process as controversial?

You've implied precisely this in your last comment here. Since you are not responding now I think it's fair for us to assume that either you have no evidence to share or that you believe in the word of the losing side.

On a diff note, if I carry on using your own logic(?) then would you agree that DRS is controversial? You see, DRS has been heavily criticized by BCCI. As per your own logic, BCCI need not give any real evidence for this, saying something against something should be enough, right?

DRS wasn't the moot point here but using your own premise, why should the RoW be so eager to adopt such a controversial system?

Pls answer the prev ques before you try this new one.

Posted by Venkat_Gowrishankar on (June 6, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

@Nutcutlet:What really is being done about women's cricket in Pak & India - You read a few articles here and there and base your conclusions.

Have you been to India? Have you seen Women's cricket in India?. Are you aware of the culture in India?. Not every place on earth has the same culture as the UK or the Australia.It does take time for somethings to change and it is more at the cultural change. It is changing , we need to be patient.

Yes, there are issues but dont say "how Revealing it was". How Revealing it was when the Indian cricket team was given poor accomodation and village grounds when they toured England int he 70's and 80's. Ah, thats in the past why bother. Well the Women's WC is also in the past!

Posted by Venkat_Gowrishankar on (June 6, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

@trav29: I would not have resorted to 'the two wrongs" philsophy, if the first wrong did not happen. Sorry, I will not agree to that. Why do a wrong in the first place ?. Can you answer that. If someone were to admit it, then all this would never happen. Simple!.

@Harmony111 : Thanks buddy for your support.

@Lees_Legends: I still dont get your logical conculsion.

Posted by Harmony111 on (June 6, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

@Lees_Legends: Well your comments are built on nothing but air, you yourself make comments that have far away from logic and you have the gall to say that Venkat's 2nd comment made no sense? How could his comment make sense when he was building up on your own illogical comment? You need to pay attention to what you type.

@6:32, you said that May's loss at place A was controversial cos he had been at place B for 16 years. Show me the logic in this comment pls. Venkat simply asked if a candidate's longevity was the main yardstick.

Venkat also asked if you have any actual evidence to say that the elections were controversial except the noise made by the losing side. Had you been logical & serious you would have presented some evidence. But @3:34, you exceeded yourself & said that it was controversial cos it was controversial !!!

Wow, brilliant logic from you. You really are a legend.

Twice you have asked others to be sensible & use the brains but may be you forgot it yourself.

Posted by Lees_Legends on (June 6, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

@Venkat: No, you're clearly confusing the words 'controversial' with 'undemocratic'. You don't need evidence for something that while it was democratic, legal and followed all the laws in principle, it was still controversial. Thank you. As for your second point I'd ask you to clarify what you're trying to say about Clarke and Sachin quitting cricket. It makes no sense.

Posted by KingOwl on (June 5, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

Tim May thinks the ICC should be less dominated by the bigger countries - he should have said this when England and Aus were dominating the ICC. Then it would have been more credible. Now it just sounds like sour grapes.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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