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N Srinivasan should not be allowed near the ICC's executive board table, nor be sworn in as the body's new chairman, while he remains under investigation by India's Supreme Court. So says Paul Marsh, head of the cricketers' global representative FICA.
Stepping into the vacuum left by the leaders of other Full Member nations, most conspicuously Cricket Australia and the ECB, Marsh said Srinivasan could not take up his looming post as the head of the global game if he had been barred from holding the office of BCCI president.
Neither the CA chairman Wally Edwards, nor his ECB equivalent Giles Clarke, have deigned to comment publicly on Srinivasan's predicament, after the three administrators drew out a plan for the next eight years of the game in which ICC revenue is redistributed while bilateral agreements between member countries replace the stipulations of the ICC's Future Tours Programme. Marsh was more forthcoming, however.
"While we are pleased that Mr Srinivasan, at the behest of the Supreme Court, has agreed to step down from his duties as BCCI President, we are of the firm belief that he should not be exercising any functions on behalf of the ICC either, while any investigations concerning his conduct or that of his company are pending or unresolved," Marsh said. "The cricket world has been told time and again by the ICC that corruption is the game's biggest issue and that the game has a zero-tolerance approach to it.
"For our game to survive, we need it to be not only free of corruption but free of any suspicion of corruption. "The ICC needs to put the reputation of the game and confidence in its procedures first. The players, and other stakeholders in the game, are entitled to expect this from the ICC's Executive Board.
"Under the current circumstances, the prospect of Mr Srinivasan taking the highest posting in world cricket, while these matters are unresolved, is an impossible one."
Edwards and Clarke are due to meet with Srinivasan again ahead of the ICC's next executive board meeting on April 9 and 10. It has been reported that Srinivasan will remain India's representative at the ICC table despite the Supreme Court's order, while also intending to take up the ICC chairmanship at the body's annual meeting, due to take place in Melbourne in July.
Marsh, though, outlined the reasons why Srinivasan should not be permitted to continue in this role.
"Serious allegations of betting and spot-fixing in IPL 2013 have been made against Mr Gurunath Meiyappan as the alleged team principal of Chennai Super Kings and these remain the subject of proceedings before the Indian Supreme Court," he said. "Mr Srinivasan is the managing director of Indian Cements Limited [the owner of the Chennai Super Kings] and is also the father-in-law of Mr Meiyappan.
"The Supreme Court order from last Friday noted that Mr Srinivasan had made a written offer through his legal counsel to step aside from his functions as BCCI President until investigations into the allegations against him were completed. The Supreme Court has issued an interim order prohibiting any employees of India Cements Limited (other than players or commentators) from performing any duties for the BCCI. FICA understands that the order applies to Mr Srinivasan, as managing director of the company."
Clause 2.1 of the ICC's code of ethics states: "Each director shall act in an honest and ethical manner. In order to facilitate the transparent operation of the ICC, conduct that gives the appearance of impropriety will also be unacceptable. Directors shall not engage in any conduct that in any way denigrates the ICC or harms its public image."