Suspended Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan was confirmed as Int'l Cricket Council chairman in Melbourne on Thursday, giving the 69-year-old industrialist "the most powerful role in the governing body's restructured organisation," according to Amlan Chakraborty of REUTERS. Srinivasan "will assume office almost immediately" after the governing body rubber-stamped constitutional changes at its annual conference being held this week in Australia. Often described "as the most powerful man in cricket," Srinivasan became BCCI president in '11, but "was ordered to step aside in March to ensure a fair investigation into an illegal betting scandal during last year's Indian Premier League involving his son-in-law." Those controversies "have led to some criticism of his appointment with one official of a now unrecognised unit within the Indian cricket board urging the country's Supreme Court to bar Srinivasan from taking over as ICC chief" (REUTERS, 6/26). The PA reported Srinivasan "marked his controversial ascent to chairmanship" of the ICC "by protesting his innocence of any wrongdoing in the ongoing corruption case in India." Critics, "who are thick on the ground, have characterised the constitutional shift as a self-interested power grab by the three boards." However, it is Srinivasan’s elevation to the top job "that has proved the real lightning rod for indignation" (PA, 6/26).
CLEAR CONSCIENCE: The PTI reported on being reminded that since his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was facing betting charges and that "it reflected on him," Srinivasan said, “He (Meiyappan) has to defend himself in court. I mean, it’s a question of it’s going to be proved or not proved, but that’s up to him. This is a question about me. I think you have to wait until everything is clear at the end of the day. If nothing is proved, I think all this comment would have been unfair, isn’t it” (PTI, 6/26). IANS reported Srinivasan said that "he would like to see more strong teams in international cricket." Srinivasan: "I want to see more strong teams in international cricket. For this to be achieved, we all need to work hard to develop local talent in our countries. Naturally, there will be more support to those who first show they can help themselves" (IANS, 6/26). The PTI reported the BCCI "congratulated its president-in-exhile," saying that there "could not have been a better person for the position." BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said, "It is a proud and historic moment for Indian Cricket, and on behalf of all the members of the BCCI, we wish him all the best" (PTI, 6/26).
EXEC BOARD MOVES: The PTI reported the approval of the constitutional changes also meant that a new exec committee -- which will report to the ICC Board -- "was formed." The initial exec committee chairman will be Cricket Australia Chair Wally Edwards. The ICC’s Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee chairman "will continue to be" England & Wales Cricket Board Chair Giles Clarke. The Annual Conference also saw Mustafa Kamal "become the 11th President of the ICC." Kamal: "This is a memorable and historic day for Bangladesh cricket." From 2016, the ICC Board, which will continue to be the primary decision-making body, "will elect the ICC Chairman for a two-year term." The ICC Board also confirmed that the USA Cricket Association "is a recognised member" (PTI, 6/26).
CRICKET LOSES WICKET: In Melbourne, Chloe Saltau opined cricket "has made a fool of itself again." Srinivasan's very presence in the Olympic room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the ICC's newly inaugurated chairman "was a fresh attack on cricket's credibility." The fact that other members of the ICC endorsed him for the chairmanship "hardly inspires confidence in their collective desire to stamp out corruption from the sport" (THE AGE, 6/26).