Players’ union boss Tim May has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to be true to its policy of transparency and avoid a repeat of the John Howard affair.
May, who is chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA), said on Monday he welcomed the ICC’s decision announced earlier this month to review its governance.
The former Australia Test spinner says the ICC’s decision-making structure lacks independence and fails to meet its stated core value of being open and honest.
May is urging the ICC to make the recommendations of the review public.
“In the 2011 FICA Player Survey, only six per cent of players believed that the decisions of the ICC are made in the best interests of the global game,” May said.
Former England and Wales chief justice Lord Harry Woolf will chair an independent governance review of the ICC.
“FICA believes that the present structure of the ICC does not lead to optimal decision-making,” May said.
“It is generally accepted across a range of stakeholders that the current ICC structure does not conform to accepted principles of good governance.
“Its governance lacks independence, it lacks the perception of being independent, it lacks the ability to elect a healthy and pertinent spread of skills around the board table, and it even lacks the ability to elect members to its major decision-making committees.
“Too often, we see decisions made at ICC executive level being perceived as ‘not in the interests of the global game’, instead being perceived in the interests of the powerful or those who seek to ally themselves with the powerful.”
Last year’s rejection of former prime minister Howard, who was Australia-New Zealand’s joint nomination for the role of ICC president, is an example of the faction-ridden, India-dominated workings of the game’s ruling body.
May said he felt governance was the biggest issue in world cricket.
“Its solution provides the pathway for better and more equitable decisions surrounding future playing schedules, ICC events, managing the Twenty20 format, decision review systems, investments in the game, allocation of resources, etc,” May said.
“It is vital that the Lord Woolf-led review and its list of recommendations are made public. We hope that the executive board adheres to such values and we do not suffer a repeat of the ‘John Howard President election’ where, despite the stated value of openness and honesty, ICC gave no official reason for Howard’s rejection as president,” May added.
“We also hope that we do not suffer a repeat of the disclosure of the independent audit of Zimbabwe Cricket financial statements, where ICC refused to make the KPMG report public, despite ICC’s previous assurance of dealing with the matter in an open and transparent manner.”