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News

ICC emergency board meeting could decide Manu Sawhney's future

Few board members have yet seen the full internal review by PricewaterhouseCoopers

Manu Sawhney was suspended in March  •  ICC

Manu Sawhney was suspended in March  •  ICC

The future of the suspended ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney looks set to be decided at an emergency board meeting on Thursday.
Sawhney was suspended in March after a number of allegations - including of bullying - emerged against him following an internal review conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He has since strongly denied the allegations, calling them a "premeditated witch hunt", and vowed to appeal should he be found guilty by a disciplinary hearing.
The ICC chairman, Greg Barclay, has called the meeting at which he is expected to update the ICC Board on the conclusions of that disciplinary process and seek their support with the outcomes. Sawhney's future is understood to be the sole item on the agenda with members notified of the meeting only on Wednesday.
Few board members have currently seen the entire PwC report but one of those who has is the ECB's chair, Ian Watmore. As chair of the ICC's human resources committee, he reviewed the report and recommended the suspension of Sawhney. That course of action was subsequently ratified by the board.
The contents of the PwC report are understood to be critical of Sawhney, though at least one ICC director has in recent weeks raised the prospect of asking to see the full report once the Sawhney decision comes to the board. It is believed the report has also looked at the working and culture of the ICC board itself. The environment around the ICC is highly politicised at present, however, with divisions around the future structure of international cricket and the balance of power at the top of the game.
ICC meetings are also expected to take place in the coming days to discuss cricket's involvement in the Olympics, details around the next World Test Championship cycle and the implementation of something akin to a second division in Test cricket. Some members are concerned that cricket's presence in the Olympics will devalue the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in the Olympic years of 2028 and 2032, leading them to argue for the adoption of the T10 format in the Olympics. This might also allow the involvement of more teams.
For an event to be accepted in the Olympics, however, it must be played as a recognised international format, which means T10 would have to be far more widely played than it is at present.
Meanwhile, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Ivory Coast and Vietnam are understood to have applied to become Associate Members of the ICC. Their applications will be considered at the ICC's AGM on July 18.