India in South Africa 2013-14 October 22, 2013

ICC sanctions independent probe into Becker comments

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ICC will conduct an "independent, third party" investigation into the statement issued by David Becker, the ICC's former legal head, which said the BCCI's flouting of the Future Tour's Programme could have legal implications, and also into Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat's role in that statement. The ICC decision, first reported by ESPNcricinfo on Monday, was confirmed in a joint statement issued by CSA and the BCCI on Tuesday.

Becker, who apart from his ICC role was also formerly a legal advisor to CSA, had said in a statement earlier this month that the FTP was legally binding on ICC members as it had been unanimously approved, and that it was "improper" to allow a member body to "blatantly disregard an ICC resolution".

The release from the South Africa and Indian boards said the investigation panel would be appointed by the ICC, and look into the "content and distribution of the media comments, subsequent attempts to have them withdrawn, and, in particular, the role of Mr Lorgat in relation to these matters". The findings of the investigation, and the panel's recommendations, "will be binding upon CSA".

Lorgat will not deal with CSA matters relating to the ICC or the BCCI while the investigation is on. CSA is yet to appoint a person to oversee concerned matters in the interim. Chris Nenzani, chairman of the CSA Board of Directors, confirmed that Lorgat was still CSA's chief executive.

"I would like to stress that Mr. Lorgat has not been suspended," Nenzani said. "In fact, he himself volunteered to withdraw from matters involving the ICC and the BCCI in his deliberations with the full Board at their meeting last Sunday."

The boards' release also stated that the ICC is "considering its legal options" with regards to the Becker comments.

The news of the independent investigation comes alongside the boards' announcement that India's tour of South Africa will go ahead, albeit in a severely truncated form. The decision follows discussions in London, during which "various concerns were raised about the alleged conduct" of Lorgat and Becker. Both the ICC and CSA refute the latter's comments, the statement said.

Although there was no official statement, CSA's appointment of Lorgat as its chief executive despite a series of run-ins between Lorgat and the BCCI during his tenure as ICC chief seemed to have cast a shadow over India's tour. The BCCI, which had earlier "raised concerns" about Lorgat being in the running for CSA's top job, rejected the original itinerary for the tour that had three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20s pencilled in. However, the eventual announcement of the tour ends what has been an uncertain few months that severely tested the relations between the BCCI and CSA, which had been on best terms since the end of apartheid in the early 1990s.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Biso on October 24, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    @VisBal: "the FTP is more or less legally binding". If that were truly the case CSA would have dragged BCCI to court by now. And I do not quite understand the meaning of " more or less". No court will ever do. Is BCCI wrong about going for more revenue generation on their own when faced with a situation where the host board have taken them for granted and are trying to mint money by going for a token of two tests and 7 ODI's and couple of T-20's? If CSA was really bothered about tests then they would have opted for at least 3 tests and maybe 4 ODI's. All matches could have been fitted into the FTP. Having an FTP does not mean that the detailed schedule will not be arrived at through mutual negotiations. I also agree that if Lorgat had not been the irritant , perhaps, BCCI would have overlooked CSA's unilateral schedule and gone for the tour.

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    To all people who think the FTP is a legally binding document - it may be, but India has not yet signed the FTP, so legally, they are not party to the FTP. It does not matter what Beckar had to say. To others who say, remove India from ICC and ICC does not need India's money - please ask the respective cricket boards who time and again request India to come play a series in their nation. Apart from that, even if India were kicked out of ICC, India does not need money from rest of the world - they have the IPL, which is more than enough to cover for their finances and beyond. Please understand, any sport needs money to survive. You can ask China/US (or any other nation with lots of cash) to come steamroll the shenanigans, but you are just going to replace BCCI by someone else. So the ICC either makes peace with the fact that India will be at the helm or try and install someone else there. That does not change anything at all!

  • Biso on October 23, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    @Nutcutlet. Becker's gun has mere blanks and it is all about noise and no real ammunition. Srinivasan will be sooner or later ousted in BCCI, but that is OK and good for the game. The same holds true for all officials in any board.

  • Biso on October 23, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    For all those who seem to hold the opinion that ICC should chalk out the FTP and hold member nations responsible for standing by it, come what may. What is overlooked is the fact that ICC will have to bear a lot of responsibility for the FTP and bail out the members in case of financial losses, especially in cases where the member has earlier objected to the schedule or shown concerns about the viability of the venture. Now, even if member countries make their own arrangements and schedule it through the FTP, there will be adequate safeguards for any member to bail out of the agreement for valid reasons. In fact there is very little the ICC can implement without taking the risk of bearing the liability for their decisions. International cricket is an industry and in this scenario many of the woolf..committee suggestions are actually impractical and backed by a carving for money from India without bearing any responsibility. Bilateral contracts are the only way. Period!

  • Satish Chandar on October 23, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    Let us think this way.. Srinivasan comments very harsh and acts very bad towards ECB.. He gets appointed as chief in SL board and still behaves the same. He intentionally goes forward and announces a Sl-England tourney without ECB's approval.. All these will irk any board. Now if ECB acts for that, who will be the fault? It is the single guy - Lorgat who is the reason for everything..

    FTP.. What FTP who FTP? Why the FTP has more test matches for one nation and a bilateral series named Ashes compulsory for two teams whereas, the other teams are almost forgotten while framing the FTP? It is not a rule book to follow as Triple_A mentioned.

    If iCC is really cocerned, give every nation 10 tests and 40 ODIs per year and everyone should play every other team in 2 years span. That is called the real FTP.

  • Aditya on October 23, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    @ Laeeq Hashmi - very sad but very true

  • Dik on October 23, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    half_blood-prince, that literally made no sense, and I'm 100% sure that has NOTHING to do with any of this.

  • Bala on October 23, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    This witch hunt over the DRS is a tad overdone.

    Frankly, the BCCI in this case are (partially) replacing an away tour(minimal revenue, if any) with a home tour (high revenue). In the end, that is what it comes to. Smell and follow the money. The witch hunt itself just a smokescreen to help Tendulkar retire (a) in front of a home crowd (commercialisation opportunity), (b) on a helpful/flat pitch, and (c) against a weak opposition. The BCCi and many Indian fans would like to see him score a century in his last Test (think of the marketing options) and they are just trying to facilitate it.

    Meanwhile, as I understand, the FTP is more or less legally binding. That is why the negotiations usually only extend to match composition and not duration. This is the first I have seen where an FTP tour's duration is altered. Unfortunately, the only way to convince the BCCI of their folly (reneging on commitment) is to reduce the matches played by top teams in India.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    so BCCI is running cricket south africa affairs ...India doesn't want to play more test matches outside subcontinent because they can't win in ENG,AUS & SA .India already lost 8 test matches in AUS & ENG

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2013, 17:38 GMT

    Is the ICC so desparate for the cash that the BCCI has to offer that they are willing to sell their souls and be at the beck and call of India. India may be popular in their country, but they are not worth any competition outside their borders. It is a proven fact that we have always annihilated them on South African soil. Let them go it alone and show them that they are not needed.