Cricket Buzz: FICA disappointed with Srinivasan elevation
The Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) on Friday said it was disappointed with Narayanaswami Srinivasan's appointment to the post of ICC chairman even as New Zealand Cricket Director Martin Snedden backed the controversial Indian administrator's elevation to the top job.
FICA's outgoing president, Paul Marsh, said the world body should have waited for the allegations surrounding Srinivasan to be resolved before making him chairman of its board.
"We've seen in recent days significant changes at ICC level, which represent a new era in terms of the administration and leadership of world cricket," Marsh said.
"FICA's position on this is well known. Our strong preference was for the controversy involving Mr Srinivasan in India to be resolved before the ICC made a decision on the chairmanship.
"While it's disappointing that this did not occur, we can't let this distract FICA from its responsibility of helping shape cricket's future."
Srinivasan was formally anointed ICC chairman after the world body's council agreed to a contentious revamp of the administrative structure which vested executive decision-making authority with India, England and Australia.
However, Srinivasan found support from Snedden, who said allegations against Srinivasan have to be proved first.
"(They are) allegations that we know nothing about made by people that are highly incentivised to get rid Srinivasan," he told New Zealand Radio.
"The (Indian Supreme) court has said that they're untested and no inference is to be taken from the fact that they've asked for them to be investigated.
"But in three or four months time, that investigation will be complete, the results will be given to the court, they'll be made public. If, at that point, there is a problem, then the ICC can deal with it then."
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Image: Narayanaswmi Srinivasan
Aus media says Srinivasan appointment questions cricket's credibility
Snedden also felt that there was nothing wrong in handing more power to the 'Big Three' of international cricket.
"Having India inside the camp is a huge about-turn from where it's been throughout the time I've been involved in the ICC," he said.
"India's been an outlier, they've caused all sorts of havoc and uncertainty from time to time and it's made it extremely difficult for other countries -- New Zealand's been on the receiving end of that, so have a number of other countries.
"As a result of what these (big three) countries have done, yes, they've used their collective advantage in some ways, but at the same time, what they are doing is providing the overall international cricket community with a lot more certainty," he added.
Meanwhile, the Australian media reacted sharply to Srinivasan's appointment with newspapers here saying that the move is a fresh attack on cricket's credibility.
"Even if, as Srinivasan says, he is proven to have done nothing wrong, the fact that other members of the ICC endorsed him for the chairmanship hardly inspires confidence in their collective desire to stamp out corruption from the sport," wrote The Age newspaper.
"Srinivasan's very presence at the Melbourne conference as the ICC's newly inaugurated chairman was a fresh attack on cricket's credibility."
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Image: N Srinivasan
Warne implores Cook to quit captaincy
England skipper Alastair Cook has got only worse after the team's Ashes drubbing last year and should quit Test captaincy or take a break from the game, according to Australian spin great Shane Warne.
The outspoken Australian has never been a fan of Cook's captaincy and his constant criticism seemed to have flustered the 29-year-old left-hander, who considers it a personal attack on him and believes "something needs to be done" about it.
"This column is not a personal attack and never has been Alastair. Mate, you need to improve tactically or England need someone else in the job. And I am not the only one saying it," Warne wrote in a column for the Telegraph newspaper.
"Agree or disagree but it is our opinion and in the case of Cook, lots of people including me think it is time for him to step down as captain," said the 44-year-old, who quit test cricket in 2007 with 708 wickets and a reputation of having revived the art of leg-spin.
Cook's own run drought and his team's failure to register a win in eight successive Tests have supplied Warne more ammunition against the English skipper, currently smarting from a 1-0 home series loss against Sri Lanka.
"The most disappointing thing for me is that he has not learned or improved after a horrible 5-0 drumming in Australia, in fact he has got worse," Warne said.
Elaborating, Warne went on to say he had not seen worst leadership than what Cook displayed in the Headingley Test where Angelow Mathews' sparkling 160 led to Sri Lanka's thrilling series-clinching victory with just one ball to spare.
"His captaincy (in the drawn first Sri Lanka Test) at Lord's was terrible, then on Monday at Headingley, I witnessed the worst day of captaincy I have ever seen at international level in almost 25 years in the game," Warne said.
"It was horrific, and I am not the only one singing that tune," he added.
"He just does not get it. Everyone watching could see the game needed a change of pace; bowl the spinner or make the seamers try and actually get Angelo Mathews out. You just cannot bowl the same stuff over after over like he did - good captains try things and are proactive, not hopeful."
Under Cook, Warne said, England would always be "conservative" and "confused" in tight games "because he retreats so quickly".
Taking a break was maybe a good idea for England's leading Test century-maker, Warne said.
"Nobody likes doing it. You get accused of being soft but I know the benefit my enforced lay-off gave me. I had a year out of the game and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I could rest mind and body and returned to have my best years."
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West Indies bowl New Zealand out for 293 in third Test
Kraigg Brathwaite and Chris Gayle led the West Indies to 32 without loss, a deficit of 261 runs, at the end of the first day in the third and deciding Test against New Zealand in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Thursday.
Brathwaite, man of the match in the second Test in Trinidad following his maiden century, finished on 11 while Gayle was 18 not out after almost being run out for a duck and then smashing a straight six.
The visitors were bowled out for 293 after wasting a succession of starts by their middle-order batsmen and the needless run-out of all-rounder Jimmy Neesham when he looked to have seized back the momentum.
New Zealand won the first Test in Jamaica before the West Indies levelled the series.
Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum won his third successive toss of the series on Thursday and chose to bat but his opening pair failed again with Hamish Rutherford dismissed in the fourth over.
Kane Williamson (43), Ross Taylor (45) and McCullum (31) were unable to build on good starts and when BJ Watling (one) and Tim Southee (six) went in quick succession, New Zealand were struggling at 194 for seven.
Neesham, who scored a century in the first Test, and off-spinner Mark Craig resurrected the innings with a 64-run partnership.
However, with the West Indies looking downcast and lethargic, the pair tried a sharp single when Neesham pushed the ball to short cover.
The all-rounder hesitated slightly, allowing Brathwaite the opportunity to run him out for 78.
"It was feeling good out there and I had a good partnership with Mark but I'm a little disappointed to fall short and (for us) to fall short of a par score as well," Neesham said.
"I think if we had got anywhere north of 320 or 330 it would have been a good effort, so to fall 20 or 30 short is a little disappointing.
"There's still a lot in it for the bowlers so if we get some early wickets tomorrow we're in it."
Craig, who scored 67 in the second Test, was 46 not out when last man Trent Boult was stumped by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for 12 to give left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn his fourth five-wicket haul in Tests.
Benn finished with five for 93 while fast bowler Kemar Roach took four for 61.
Image: Kraigg Brathwaite