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29 Apr 2008 08:47
Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani said on Monday the governing body could lose credibility after the “disgraceful” treatment of outgoing chief executive Malcolm Speed.
Mani became the latest critic of the ICC board, which has come under fire after Speed was placed on paid leave on Friday until the end of his contract in July after falling out with president Ray Mali and other board members.
“I’m very disappointed with the way Malcolm has been treated,” Mani said.
“He has served the ICC with loyalty and a huge amount of distinction and I would have expected that if there were differences they could have been handled privately. The way the board has handled this has been disgraceful.
“If they do not pull their act together they will lose credibility.”
His comments came a day after Cricket Australia also expressed regret at the manner in which Speed’s tenure had ended.
“Having known Malcolm personally I know how he has taken the ICC to a much higher level [compared with when he joined],” said Mani.
“It’s a great shame he has left in this way—things seem to have got out of control.
There will always be differences but they should be handled better.”
Mani, a London-based Pakistani expatriate, was chairperson of the ICC’s finance and marketing committee before his term as president from 2003 to 2006.
He and Speed shared a productive relationship that built on the ICC’s image after times as recent as the early 1990s when it had little authority over the world game and no major income.
Recent problems have centred around the ICC’s handling of an audit into Zimbabwe Cricket’s finances, which found serious financial irregularities in the Zimbabwe board accounts.
The ICC did not call for any sanctions, with the audit deciding there had been no evidence of criminality and no individuals had gained financially.
The ICC board’s decision not to go public with the findings upset Speed and that, among other issues, ultimately led to his early departure.
“The ICC must always be transparent,” said Mani.
Mani, who said Speed had been let down by the ICC executive board, agreed with president-elect David Morgan’s comment at the weekend that Speed’s case was one of a number of issues that had damaged the ICC’s image.
“But I am hopeful that with David Morgan taking over [in July] the ICC will come through this,” Mani said.
South African Haroon Lorgat, appointed as Speed’s successor on April 4, starts in July.—Reuters
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