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SBD Global/January 27, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Former Cricket Australia Execs Break Ranks, Speak Out Against 'Big Three' ICC Takeover

Former Cricket Australia CEO Malcolm Speed and former CA President Malcolm Gray "have broken ranks with Cricket Australia to demand the withdrawal of a controversial proposal for the 'big three' cricket nations to take control of the International Cricket Council," according to Chloe Saltau of THE AGE. Cricket World Cup 2015 CEO John Harnden said that he "would not be distracted by global cricket politics following India's veiled threat to pull out of ICC events if the changes are not adopted." Speed and Gray "added their signatures to a formal letter to the boards that make up the ICC written by another former president, Ehsan Mani." The letter is accompanied by a "stinging critique of the changes recommended by Australia, England and India," which Mani said would "enrich those three countries at the expense of others and give them 'complete control' of the ICC" (THE AGE, 1/27). In Mumbai, Vijay Tagore reported the Board of Control for Cricket in India has "decided to renew the bilateral ties with Pakistan." The "inevitable fallout of the decision is India's readiness to play Pakistan anywhere." In "other words, the BCCI, which has been steadfastly against going to a neutral country to play Pakistan, has climbed down from that hard position." It is willing to "send the team to any country, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai." They "might even say yes to Sharjah." The decision follows a teleconference between BCCI President N. Srinivasan and "recently-restored" Pakistan Cricket Board President Zaka Ashraf. There is no "immediate window for a series to be organised but the BCCI is open to play a short series against Pakistan in the next 12 months" (MUMBAI MIRROR, 1/24). The PTI reported the "cricket community in the country has reacted cautiously to reports that the Indian and English Boards were willing to play Pakistan at neutral venues with some asking the PCB not to fall in the 'trap.'" Former Pakistan cricket captain Zaheer Abbas said that the PCB should "be careful while going through the offers from the Indian and English Boards." Abbas: "It is clear they want us to support this restructuring of world cricket and are offering us a lollipop. Pakistan must keep in mind its long term interests and also the interest of world cricket and other members before deciding on a clear line of action" (PTI, 1/25).
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