Cricket South Africa has taken "strong exception" to a comment made by ICC chief executive David Richardson during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, where he said the Big-Three takeover of the ICC in 2014 was partly due to the inability of CSA - among other boards - to stand up to India, England and Australia.
"If he is indeed correctly quoted, his remarks come as a complete shock to us," CSA chief executive, Haroon Lorgat said in a statement. "For someone who was actually party to the 2014 resolutions to now make such a disparaging remark to CSA is frankly nonsense and insulting to us.
"The CSA Board had from the very outset realised how damaging the original proposals would have been to the global growth of the game and together with Pakistan and Sri Lanka had strongly opposed it. This included CSA making a significant written submission to the ICC Board which had resulted in a number of the original proposals being amended. That's in fact the reason why we are where we are now. The CSA Board will always stand up for what it believes to be right for the game."
While in Sri Lanka, Richardson had said during a press conference: "The international game has gone through a period of turbulence, where the governance, the financial model, the playing [of the game] was in turmoil by the resolutions passed by the ICC in 2014 […] what happened in 2014 took place really because unfortunately countries like South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand were not able to stand up to the big boys. I don't think that will happen again."
CSA said its president would take up the matter with the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.
In 2014, the ICC had radically restructured its governance and revenue distribution system following a campaign by CA, BCCI and ECB, which led to greater executive and financial clout in the hands of these three boards. The proposals initially caught the other Full Members off-guard and four boards opposed the amendments. CSA was one objector but eventually came on board. The constitutional amendments required to put the new structure in place were eventually approved of during the ICC's 2014 Annual Conference.
However, after Manohar succeeded N Srinivasan as ICC chairman, and then got elected as the governing body's first independent chairman who wasn't affiliated to a Full Member board, he spoke of ending the Big Three's "bullying" of the other boards and a return to a more equitable distribution of power and revenue in the ICC.