Sunil Gavaskar, who was asked to choose between his ICC role and his media commitments due to a potential conflict of interest, has decided to end his eight-year stint as chairman of its cricket committee.
The executive board of the ICC had found Gavaskar's dual roles untenable, and had authorised its CEO, Malcolm Speed, to ask him to convey his position when the committee met on May 5-6. Speed has since gone on leave
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the eight years I have held the role [of ICC cricket committee chairman], which is an honorary position, and it has been extremely fulfilling to be able to give back to the game through that role," Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar said that his media commitments made it difficult to fulfill dual responsibilities. "However, with more and more cricket being played it has become clear that it is not possible for me to do justice to two jobs, the chairmanship of the ICC cricket committee and my media commitments.
"As an example of that, I had to leave my professional commitments as a commentator on the Indian Premier League matches in order to come and chair this year's meeting in Dubai."
"We are indebted to the work Sunil has put into his role as chairman of the ICC cricket committee," Dave Richardson, the ICC's acting CEO, said. "He has brought his vast experience of the game to bear, not only over the eight years of his chairmanship but also the six years prior to that, when he was a delegate on the same committee."
The issue of a potential conflict of interest came in the aftermath of the Sydney Test when Gavaskar, in a syndicated newspaper column, criticised match referee Mike Procter for banning Harbhajan Singh for his alleged racial abuse.
The situation was compounded when Gavaskar criticised the English and Australian boards after the conclusion of the executive board's meet in March. "Gone are the days when two countries, England and Australia, had the veto power in international cricket, even though the dinosaurs may not open their eyes and see the reality," he wrote. "The cricketing world has found that India has no longer a diffident voice but a confident one that knows what is good for its cricket, and will strive to get it."
The ICC's cricket committee, which comprises select present and former cricketers, as well as match and board officials, is assigned with discussing and consulting on cricket-related matters, and making recommendations on the same to the chief executives' committee (CEC). The recommendations will only take effect if they are ratified and/or approved by the CEC as well as the ICC.
Meanwhile, the ICC are yet to decide on Gavaskar's replacement.