IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

ICC in turmoil as Speed ousted


Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, has been put on paid leave until his contract runs out on July 4.

In a brief statement, David Morgan, the ICC’s president-elect, said: “This … is the result of a fundamental breakdown in the relationship between the CEO and a number of board members, including the president, over a variety of issues that include Zimbabwe.

“David Richardson, the ICC general manager - cricket, will serve as interim CEO until Speed’s replacement, Haroon Lorgat, assumes the role at the ICC’s annual conference at the beginning of July.”

Rumours had been circulating for the last month that Speed had had a serious falling-out with Ray Mali, the president, following the ICC executive’s decision not to take any major action against Zimbabwe following an independent forensic audit carried out by KPMG, which the ICC has since refused to make available.

Following the ICC’s meeting in Dubai in March, at which the decision to overlook the audit was taken, Speed refused to attend the traditional post-meeting media conference, explaining privately to the executive that he was not prepared to defend in public a decision with which he fundamentally disagreed. It had been the recommendation of the audit committee that senior ZC officials should have been referred to the ethics committee.

In July last year, a confidential report by Speed and Faisal Hasnain, the ICC’s chief financial officer, was leaked, much to the ICC’s embarrassment and anger, in which Speed made a series of stinging attacks on Zimbabwe Cricket’s finances, concluding: “It is clear that the accounts of ZC have been deliberately falsified to mask various illegal transactions from the auditors and the government of Zimbabwe. The accounts were incorrect and at no stage did ZC draw the attention of the users of these accounts to the unusual transactions. It may not be possible to rely on the authenticity of its balance sheet.”

Mali, who is a staunch supporter of Zimbabwe and of its officials, has not yet commented publicly on the situation but it is a telling reflection on his inability to handle the media that it will be Morgan - renowned for his conciliatory manner - who fronts up at the press conference at Lord’s tomorrow.

Mali is understood to have been incensed by Speed’s conduct and gained support from a number of board members as he successfully moved to have Speed sidelined for the remainder of his tenure. Although Zimbabwe has emerged as the key reason for the falling-out, it is understood that Speed’s recent statement that the rebel Indian Cricket League had approached the ICC seeking official recognition had also been used as an excuse to get rid of him.

“We have removed him so what is left to say now,” said a senior official from the anti-Speed camp, who did not wish to be identified. “We were not happy with the way he handled the Zimbabwe situation, and his recent statements which implied that the ICL issue had not been raised officially within ICC. There were also many who were not happy with his confrontational style of functioning.”

Haroon Lorgat, South Africa’s former convenor of selectors, is lined up to succeed Speed as CEO, but said that it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the development as he is not involved with the ICC yet. “This is something I don’t want to get into right now,” Lorgat told Cricinfo.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 26th, 2008 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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