With the perennially toothless International Cricket Council (ICC) turning a blind eye to his cries over N Srinivasan's imminent ascension to the throne, Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) secretary Aditya Verma has shot off another letter to the Dubai-based officials of the world body. This time, he has urged them to keep the disgraced president-in-abeyance of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) out of the ICC, failing which he would raise the issue at the next hearing in the Supreme Court.
"The ICC has already violated the Supreme Court order dated March 28, 2014, by allowing Mr Srinivasan to attend the ICC meeting in Dubai on April 9 and 10. When the court has stopped a person from continuing as BCCI president, how did the ICC allow him to attend the meeting as a representative of the BCCI?" Verma questioned.
"Did the ICC violate his own constitution (by doing so)? The ICC rules clearly mention that a charge-sheeted person, or his relatives, cannot hold any post or attend any meeting in the ICC. Mr Srinivasan has already been charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (Hyderabad) in a different matter and the highest court of the country also wants to further probe allegations (of spot-fixing and betting) against Mr Srinivasan and some cricketers. Once again, I request you to kindly interfere and take appropriate action as per ICC rules. If you fail to do that, I am bound to raise the ICC's role in the appropriate court," he added.
Not surprisingly, the ICC has maintained absolute silence all these weeks and months. Its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), established in 2000, has done nothing of note all these years. There is talk that the role and functioning of the anti-graft unit will be reviewed in the near future. And there are widespread rumours that the so-called independent watchdog will report directly directly to the ICC chairman, a newly-created post. As of now, Srinivasan looks set to occupy that chair in July.
"I want to know why the ICC is silent. Are you afraid of Mr Srinivasan? Or is he obliging you in other ways? This cricketing nation (India) wants your clarification. The matter has become very serious. The highest court of the country has heard the matter," Verma added.
In the meanwhile, former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi said on Twitter that one cricket board chief had threatened to resign after Srinivasan and Giles Clarke, chief of the England and Wales Cricket Board, scuttled the ACSU from doing its job.
ICC defends ACSU review
The International Cricket Council has defended the work of its anti-corruption and security unit, despite announcing a review into how the sport cracks down on fixing. During its 14 years in existence, the ACSU — reported to cost $5.5 million per year to run — has not been directly responsible for uncovering a major case of corruption at a time when cricket has been trying to combat the threat to its integrity posed by match and spot-fixing. "The suggestion that the ACSU might be failing in its duty to protect the game is entirely misplaced and inaccurate. It is important to emphasis that the review is only commencing, and, therefore, to draw any conclusions on the outcome of the review will be premature and detrimental to the working of such an important unit," ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said in a statement.