Former South African cricket boss Ali Bacher has slammed the ICC for choosing N. Srinivasan as its first chairman. The ex-South African captain said India were hijacking the game in connivance with England and Australia.
South Africa were among four countries opposed to a new model of governance and revenue sharing for running a revamped ICC. The new plan was mooted by the Indian cricket Board (BCCI) and had the support of Australia (CA) and England (ECB). End-June in Melbourne, Srinivasan was unanimously elected ICC chairman with Australia and England occupying permanent positions in a powerful Executive Committee. (Srinivasan Named ICC Chairman)
Bacher, in an interview to the Telegraph (India) newspaper, said he was astounded to see ICC letting Srinivasan become the chairman when India's Supreme Court was probing him for allegations of corruption in the Indian Premier League 2013. (Have Done Nothing to Tarnish the Game: Srinivasan)
Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan has been indicted by a Super Court-appointed committee for betting and sharing team information. Since the inception of the IPL in 2008, Meiyappan ran Chennai Super Kings, a team owned by Srinivasan's company, India Cements.
Although the Supreme Court stripped Srinivasan off his powers as BCCI chief, it did not stop him from attending ICC meetings. Srinivasan, who has constantly claimed he was clean, got BCCI to nominate him at ICC.
"My grave disappointment with the new direction in which cricket is going is mainly aimed at England and Australia who, together with India, have hijacked the game," Bacher told the newspaper.
"A certain gentleman is currently being investigated... by a committee set up by the Supreme Court in India. Despite that, he becomes the ICC chairman. It's mind-boggling," Bacher said, adding: "What staggers me the most is that not a word has been said by any of the member countries of the ICC."
Bacher and his team organized the 2003 ICC World Cup in South Africa. Regarded as one of the finest administrators of the game, Bacher feels South Africa were first tricked into supporting the new ICC plans and then dumped. South Africa are the only full ICC member not represented on any of high-power committees.
"Even Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have been given positions, but not South Africa. What more is there to say?" a disappointed Bacher said.
Bacher hinted that England and Australia were siding with India purely because they would make more money. Higher revenue share and a complete control on deciding bilateral series will see the big teams dictating ICC revenue, most of which comes from broadcast deals which will be renegotiated in 2015.
Bacher slammed money-minded England saying: "Who can forget that a few years ago, the England and Wales Cricket Board jumped into bed with a gentleman who is now serving the equivalent of a life sentence in a Texas prison. I needn't say more," he said, referring to prominent financier Allen Stanford.
Stanford is serving a 110-year prison sentence after being convicted of charges of fraud and running a massive Ponzi scheme.