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BCCI hits back at Speed
November 02, 2006 21:03 IST
The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursday hit back at International Cricket Council CEO Malcolm Speed, accusing him of interfering in its affairs and deriding Indian cricket.
It also said Speed had "hijacked" ICC president Percy Sonn's press conference in Mohali on Wednesday and exceeded his brief by launching a broadside against the Indian cricket establishment.
In a strongly worded statement, BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty asked Speed whether he has the guts to say that the England and Wales Cricket Board is not running its affairs well because England have never won the World Cup.
"What Speed did by talking about the status of Indian cricket and the performance is nothing but gross interference in the affairs of the Indian Board.
"In any case, wonder how much does he actually know about the stakeholders in Indian cricket to take such swipes from time to time?
"Speed has chosen the wrong time and wrong place to debunk Indian cricket and its stakeholders," Shetty said.
"The media conference in Mohali on Wednesday was ostensibly called for the president of the International Cricket Council, Percy Sonn, to interact with the Indian media, but it was hijacked by the irrepressible ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed.
"Speed, for the umpteenth time, harangued the Indian Board. This time he went a step further, deriding the entire Indian cricket itself," Shetty charged.
Significantly, the war of words between the two parties was renewed just prior to the two-day ICC Executive Board meeting, in Mumbai from Friday, in which the Members Participation Agreement, which the BCCI has refused to sign in its present form, will come up for discussion.
The BCCI rejoinder came a day after Speed had criticized the Indian board, saying sports organizations are not judged by the amount of money they possessed but on the basis of the
performance of the team that they represent.
'I have read a lot about India's money power. But we don't judge sporting organisations on the basis of how much money they have. What matters in the end is performance,' Speed had said.
'The criteria for judging organisations is how their team has performed, how well they look after their stakeholders and how many good cricketers they produce. I am not trying to be critical of India, but the last time they have won a major title was in 1983,' he added.
Giving a pointed reply to the ICC CEO's statement, Shetty reminded Speed that three teams from the subcontinent had won the World Cup and India had won the
World Championship of Cricket in 1985 and were the losing finalists in the World Cup four years ago.
"Will Speed say that the England and Wales Board is not running its affairs properly just because their team has not won the World Cup? For that matter, we must refresh Speed's memory that three sub-continental countries, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, have won the World Cup and we don't claim that we won them because of our money power.
"Speed should also be reminded that India won the World Championship in Australia in 1985 and as recently as 2003 we were in the final of the World Cup," Shetty retorted.
Shetty also wondered how Speed could criticised the way cricket is run in India while at the same time meet up with Indian corporates to solicit their support for sponsorship of ICC events.
"We would like to remind him politely not to exceed his brief as the CEO of the parent body, which runs International cricket, and pass judgement on Indian cricket.
"It is interesting to note that Speed has been meeting Indian corporates to solicit their support for sponsorships to ICC and on the other hand he is passing disparaging remarks about India's money power."
Shetty also took the opportunity to remind Speed that if he has to say anything he should do so at the appropriate forum and not use the media to fire his salvos.
"It is time Speed desisted from making unfounded and uncharitable statements about India and Indian cricket. If he has anything to say he should report to the ICC Executive Board or the president and not go public with his views.
"Speed must realize the fact that Indian Board is organized enough not only to develop our cricket but also to extend a helping hand to the affiliates and associates of ICC to develop and promote the game at the grass root level."