New chiefs for world body ICC

Cricket’s world body will appoint new senior officials and haggle over plans to water down the influence of leading nations — hotly opposed by dominant India — at annual talks from Sunday.

By (AFP)

Published: Sun 24 Jun 2012, 10:36 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 12:08 AM

New Zealand’s Alan Isaac will take over as president and David Richardson of South Africa becomes chief executive, at a time when cricket is trying to move on from spot-fixing scandals and find a balance between its three formats.

The body will also consider minor changes to one-day internationals, the legality of switch-hitting and the use of video umpires. On the sidelines, India will discuss resuming cricketing ties with militancy-hit Pakistan.

ICC annual talks are often fiery affairs but the toughest debate in the Malaysian capital will focus on the self-commissioned Woolf report, which recommended a radical revamp of its clubby structure to modernise the sport.

“The ICC reacts as though it is primarily a members’ club,” said the review headed by England’s Harry Woolf. “Its interest in enhancing the global development of the game is secondary.”

The report prescribed adding independent directors to the executive board and cutting the representation of Test-playing nations. It also recommended a clearer pathway to Test cricket, which currently only involves 10 countries.

It has already been rejected by India, which is estimated to provide about 70 percent of global cricket revenues and has been accused of bulldozing its way at the ICC.

But the ICC Council, meeting on Thursday, will be asked to ratify two of Woolf’s changes: creating a new position of chairman of the board, and slashing the presidency from two years to a one-year, ambassadorial role.

The talks start on Sunday with a meeting of the chief executives’ committee, and the ICC associate and affiliate members will elect their three board representatives on Monday. The board meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

India’s Sharad Pawar is the outgoing president, while Richardson, a former Test wicket-keeper, takes over from fellow South African Haroon Lorgat as chief executive.

Cricket is still reeling from the Pakistan spot-fixing affair, when players were caught arranging no-balls to order during a Test against England. Former captain Salman Butt was released from a British prison only on Thursday.

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