Cricketers’ union conducting poll to mount pressure on ICC

April 18th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by admin  

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) A global cricketers’ union is conducting its second poll in two years in order to mount pressure on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to change its “Indian-dominated” set-up and reduce the international cricket schedule. FICA chief executive Tim May said that after 56 percent of the players polled last year said that they had lost confidence in the ICC’s ability to govern the game, the group is currently conducting another poll among the cricketers and the results would be discussed at its two-day board meeting in Austin, Texas, May 26-27.

“FICA are presently conducting a fresh poll its members on a raft of issues, one of which is the governance of our game. The results of that poll will not be known until early May and will not be presented to our board until May 26,” May told IANS via e-mail.

“The results of that survey will be discussed at our annual general meeting and any position taken by FICA in this regard will not be determined until then,” said May, a former Australia off-spinner who played 24 Tests and 47 One-day Internationals in 1980s-1990s.

India and Pakistan will, however, not be represented at the Texas meeting as their players’ associations are not recognised by their cricket boards.

Last year, immediately after the World Cup in the West Indies, FICA had asked the ICC to launch an independent review into its governance structure, following a similar player survey.

“There has been a growing amount of dissatisfaction amongst a wide variety of cricket stakeholders over the past 24 months, regarding the governance of our game,” it had said in May.

Decisions such as the length and format of ICC-organised tournaments - like the World Cup and the Champions Trophy - the number of teams to compete in ICC events, future tour programme (FTP) and volume of cricket issues, anti doping, Zimbabwe’s status in international cricket are all made by decision-making ICC committees, the executive board and the chief executives’ committee.

FICA, which is represented only on the ICC’s Cricket Committee, wants the ICC to change the structure of its two top committees and has sought bigger representation for itself.

On Thursday, FICA’s legal adviser Ian Smith raised another concern - that of “Indian-dominated ICC” - in his interview in The Guardian newspaper. His concern is based on India’s increasing say in ICC administration due to the country’s money power.

Sharad Pawar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is the president-elect of the ICC and will take over the reins in June-July 2010 for a two-year term.

Recently, a new post of an adviser was created at the ICC, and former BCCI president I.S. Bindra, considered close to Pawar, was appointed to that post.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has been heading the ICC Cricket Committee for many years, though he could be on his way out following a conflict of interest between his role as a newspaper columnist-TV commentator and his position with the ICC.

India’s clout has increased with the launch of the lucrative Indian Premier League in Bangalore Friday as well as the unofficial Indian Cricket League.

Additionally, about 70-80 percent of ICC’s sponsors come from India and this has also enhanced the country’s clout within the world body.

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