ICL: Indian Cricket League

Unrepentant Clarke comes out fighting


Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, has said he remains unrepentant in spite of the criticism aimed at the board, while revealing that he received over 9000 emails urging him not to resign.

Clarke was re-elected as chairman yesterday after Lord Marland of Odstock, his only potential challenger, withdrew from the race - just a week after Sir Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire with whom the ECB had invested so much of England’s future, was charged with fraud “of a shocking magnitude” by US authorities.

Neil Davidson, the Leicestershire chairman, was one who thought Clarke’s position was untenable. However, when asked whether he ever considered handing in his notice, Clarke said: “I haven’t and that’s not because I’m bull-headed or ignorant about other people’s opinions - I’ve had over 9,000 emails saying ‘pay no attention’.

“I have to live with the consequences of the decisions our board takes and the criticisms that we receive,” he told BBC Radio Five. “There has been some criticism which I think is constructive and sensible and we’ll listen to. There has also been some singularly unpleasant stuff which I fail to see is going to encourage anybody to take on voluntary unpaid jobs.

“It’s true that I have received a lot of criticism in the media, some of it hysterical and utterly irrational, some of it immensely rude. I discard those people.”

In addition, Clarke defended the ECB’s decision to strike such a huge financial deal with Stanford. “I don’t know what people would have said at the time had we not done the deal and had we not allowed our players the chance to play for US$20 million. There has been a lot of sagacious hindsight. We entered into the agreement with Stanford in good faith and we believed we were helping West Indies, who were, after all, a contractual party to this.”

The ECB severed all ties with Stanford last week, shredding the potentially lucrative deal which would have earned the board and its players millions of pounds.

In an interview in the Times Clarke also addressed the question of whether he thought he had done a good job. “But for the strong action taken at a very difficult ICC meeting, we would be welcoming Zimbabwe in April … that’s a huge achievement. We have a lot more people playing the game and a lot more clubs with decent facilities. When I came in, we didn’t have any financial reserves at all, but now we are in good financial health, which allows us to spend 21%of our income on grassroots cricket.”

Source:Cricket News

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