Exclusive: ICC CEO Dave Richardson exposes BCCI’s last bid to resist SC ordered reforms

first_imgImagine a cricket World Cup without two time former champions and the game’s biggest player India. That impossible scenario could very well become possible. In a bizarre turn of events, International Cricket Council CEO Dave Richardson has told India Today that the BCCI has requested for a letter against government interference and even threatening the Indian Board of suspension. (Lodha Panel sets December 15 deadline for BCCI to form Apex Council) While BCCI has denied asking for such a letter, critics are seeing this as a move to put pressure on the Indian authorities. (New deadlines, new delays, new setbacks for BCCI) On Saturday, BCCI president Anurag Thakur attacked the ICC on various issues and accused the world body of attempting to sideline the Indian Cricket Board. Now, ICC CEO Dave Richardson may just have revealed the reason why. If BCCI did make such a request, which the ICC turned down, then this would be seen as the Indian board’s last bid to resist the Supreme Court ordered reforms. Here are the excerpts of David Richardson’s exclusive interview with India Today’s consulting editor Boria Majumdar. Q: Is there any truth to the fact that the BCCI asked the ICC for a letter stating that the ICC will disaffiliate the BCCI if there is government interference?David Richardson, ICC CEO: “The President of the BCCI Mr Anurag Thakur did verbally request ICC Chairman to write a letter to the BCCI asking the BCCI to explain whether the recommendations of Lodha committee might constitute government interference. Mr. Manohar said that the ICC should not write such a letter unless the BCCI first writes to ICC requesting ICC to intervene, or that the ICC receives a letter from another of its members requesting it to do so, and no such letter has been received. I understand Mr. Manohar is reluctant to interfere in domestic affairs of a member country. He will not do so without being formally requested to do so by that member concerned, nor is he prepared to put ICC in a position where the ICC can be perceived as challenging the authority of the Supreme Court of India, without being formally requested to intervene and specially without the full consensus of the ICC board. Don’t forget that under the consequences of government interference it is possible for the suspension of the member board and nobody wants the BCCI to be suspended.” (ICC forced to withdraw two-tier Test proposal) Q: David now that you have revealed that the letter was mentioned and that the ICC did not give it at that point of time, if there is a written plea from the BCCI stating what is happening in India and that constitutes government interference or any outside interference, will you or the chairman or the ICC board issue such a letter?advertisementDavid Richardson, ICC CEO: “It is difficult to speculate you know, we don’t even know what specifically the BCCI will say in the letter. So I think you have to take these things step by step. If a letter is received then it has to be considered, it’s implications need to be considered because the implications could be serious and it needs to be considered by the ICC board in its entirety and then they can describe what needs to be done and whether any kind of letter needs to be written or what action needs to be taken.” (Two-tier Test scheme should have been shot down early: Anurag Thakur) Q: The BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke in a newspaper interview has categorically denied asking the ICC to issue such a letter. It is becoming one’s word against another. It is David Richardson & Shashank Manohar’s word against perhaps Anurag Thakur & Ajay Shirke and it is not warranted. It is becoming ICC vs BCCI in that sense. Can you tell me on record if there were any witnesses when as you say the BCCI President requested for such a letter?David Richardson, ICC CEO: “Yes the other board members were present when BCCI made that request. Mr. Thakur has, as far as I can see, actually criticised the ICC for not sending that letter.” Earlier in a newspaper interview BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke denied making any such request to the ICC, saying that the BCCI has not requested any such letter. Ajay Shirke told Indian Express, “No, no, we have never asked for any such letter. Im not aware of the exact circumstances in which the entire board was suspended. What level of interferences, what kind of interferences – if they (ICC) are really such a fair and transparent organisation, (I want to know) whether they really have any definition about what constitutes government interferences? In absence of that, theres every room for a very subjective interpretation. What’s the degree of government interference and what kind of interferences – I’m not aware of that. The Lodha Committee has recommended the appointment of a watchdog – the CAG – at the BCCI and every state association. I’m not personally apprehensive. But we are a member of the ICC and theres no clarity regarding what tantamount to government interference. But the BCCI hasn’t asked for any letter or sent any in this regard.” The BCCI vs ICC tussle has left former World Cup winner and Lok Sabha member Kirti Azad fuming. Azad told India Today, “BCCI wants ICC to interfere but they will not write a letter as they know if they write a letter it will be contempt of court. Look at the audacity of these people where they say that Chief Justice TS Thakur should recuse himself of the review petition. As I have been saying, the BCCI considers itself above the law of the land. BCCI is a united in corruption alliance, so many people who lose elections come back in to important positions. Now they want to blackmail the ICC as India is one of the biggest contributors to the ICC fund. BCCI is trying to get the best of both worlds without compromising on their own position. BCCI is absolutely desperate. They are trying to use all muscle power and money power to get what they want.”advertisementlast_img