ICL: Indian Cricket League

Age rule could hamper Bindra’s chances


As the clock winds down to the ICC’s executive board meeting in Dubai, the selection of the next chief executive is developing into a potentially fractious matter with the Indian board backing the candidature of IS Bindra, its former president, who, the ICC secretariat is keen to point out, is over the specified age. In the event of Bindra failing to get the job, it is likely to go to Imtiaz Patel, a South African, who heads Supersport, the broadcast network.

Dave Richardson, the ICC general manager, and Haroon Lorgat, the former chief selector of South Africa, are said to be the other names in the fray to replace Malcolm Speed.

Bindra’s candidacy is viewed with some concern given that, once Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, takes over as ICC chairman in 2010 as scheduled, the top two positions in world cricket will soon be held by India.

The BCCI has already faced a hurdle which it tried to sidestep. Pawar is learnt to have recently sent a letter to the ICC picking out holes in an “age rule” that could hamper the chances of their candidate. The letter was apparently sent in response to a note from the ICC to all national boards pointing to the age bar prevalent in the UAE, where it is based.

Pawar’s letter asks the ICC not to attach much value to the rule, which bars those above 65 from taking up employment in the country, because it refers only to a particular category of employees. “The rule refers only to a specific category of candidates, essentially government employees, and Bindra doesn’t fall in that group,” a top source said. “Bindra is above that age limit but he is a veteran in these matters. He knows enough about the rules and regulations of the ICC and helped Pawar prepare the letter.”

The chief executive will be selected by a four- person sub-committee comprising Ray Mali, the ICC chairman, David Morgan, the ECB head and Mali’s chosen successor, Creagh O’Connor, the Cricket Australia chairman and Pawar. Bindra has confirmed to Cricinfo that he was contacted by a head-hunting firm early this year regarding a shortlist.

“A recruitment firm called Egon Zehnder International was appointed to source potential candidates and make recommendations to the four-person sub-committee. That process is complete,” an ICC spokesperson told Cricinfo. “The sub-committee will make its recommendations to the ICC board and then it will discuss the matter at the meeting.”

However, with Pawar slotted to take over as ICC chairman in 2010, after Morgan’s two years at the helm under a compromise formula reached last year, the other national boards are concerned that an all-India show may lead to a monopoly on world-cricket administration.

Already, the WICB, which has supported India over various issues in the past, is learnt to have switched sides, leaving Bindra with the BCCI’s traditional support base of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

But Bindra told Cricinfo that he would take a call on this issue only after he was offered the job. “Even if I am offered the job, I will have to take a call on whether I need to take it up or not. I have certain issues to work out even if the job is offered, about my quitting the Punjab Cricket Association (he heads the association), my daughter’s education and other personal issues,” Bindra said.

If the BCCI is not able to get its way on Bindra, then Patel, a former director with the then United Cricket Board of South Africa, is likely to emerge as the candidate who will fit the bill. “The key criteria for selection: Whatever makes them the best person for the job,” the ICC spokesperson said.

Source:Cricket News

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