Melbourne: Controversial Indian administrator N Srinivasan on Thursday sought to dispel the notion that he was not the appropriate person to be elected the new ICC Chairman, saying there was no taint on him and his conscience was very clear.
Immediately after his appointment to the new post, Srinivasan was asked by the media if he was right choice to run world cricket since India’s Apex court had sidelined him due to investigation into IPL spot-fixing scandal. “….as far as I’m concerned, I have done nothing wrong.
There is no wrongdoing on my part, and therefore my conscience is very clear that there is no taint on me, and whatever investigation is there will take its course will come out, reports will come out,” the BCCI President-in-exile said.
“But unless I have in my mind any doubt or if I have done anything, then what you say possibly is — then one has to think. But for what I have not done, I have no concern,” he said.
On being reminded that since his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was facing betting charges, 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.”
Srinivasan, 69, was on Thursday formally appointed the first Chairman of the ICC after its 52-member council approved a controversial revamp of the body’s administrative structure.
The full council approved the amendments to the ICC’s Memorandum and Articles of Association at the Annual Conference.
Elaborating on his vision for world cricket, the Indian industrialist said the emphasis would be on facilitating Associate and Affiliate members’ graduation to Test level.
“I think the most important thing that we must be looking at now is how to make cricket more interesting by making it more competitive, and this is where you will find in this new structure, there is a lot of emphasis on meritocracy.
“The glass ceiling has been broken. The Associates and Affiliates, the up-and-coming teams, they can come up, play the longer version, and I think with this, and as the public sees there is greater competition, I think cricket will also improve, and I think that is something that we will drive.” Srinivasan said ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit has done “extremely good work” to combat corruption.
“Cricket has been played worldwide in a number of geographies, a number of jurisdictions, and it’s being played simultaneously in many of these places, so it’s an arduous task, and I think they’re doing quite well,” said Srinivasan before letting ICC Chief Executive David Richardson take over the conversation.
Richardson said largely the game and the players were clean and cricketers are assisting the ACSU greatly by revealing even the minor approaches.
“In recent times the ACSU unit has become more proactive on the investigation side, to engage more with law enforcement agencies and a number of investigations have been concluded over the last two or three years and have come to fruition.
…Probably, if you look at the state of things today, you can count on one hand, less than one hand, the number of ongoing investigations, and even with that small number, it’s doubtful whether more than one or two will actually result in charges being laid. And to me that is reflective of the current state of corruption.”
“…But the overwhelming majority of cricket played is clean, and the cricketers that are playing it are clean, and that’s not just sitting back and observing things from afar.”
“So yes, there are some very high profile investigations that have come to light in recent times, the Bangladesh Premier League and the Lou Vincent cases, but to me those are reflective of when we do find something, then they are pursued relentlessly and hopefully prosecutions are the end result.”
Asked if corruption issue was not as serious as it is perceived generally, Richardson said,” I think people will obviously be frightened as soon as incidents or investigations are talked about or spoken about, but definitely, as far as we are concerned, it’s not as I don’t think people need to be alarmed to the extent that they might be.”