'No-one has the courage to stand up to the power of BCCI and ECB'
Ian Smith, the Chief Operating Officer of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA), reckons that no one in the ICC has the "courage to stand upto" Board of Control for Cricket in India president Narayanaswami Srinivasan and ECB chairman Giles Clarke, as they cast a "very large shadow" in world cricket.
In a very significant letter written to the unrecognised Cricket Association of Bihar secretary, Aditya Verma, Smith has informed him that FICA is "working behind the scenes to influence ICC officers to do the right thing" with regard to preventing Srinivasan from becoming chairman of the ICC Executive Board.
Press Trust of India is in possession of a copy of that letter written by Smith to CAB secretary Verma, who is a bitter rival of the Tamil Nadu strongman.
"We are, of course, working diplomatically behind the scenes to influence ICC officers and executives to do the right thing, but Mr Srinivasan, along with Mr Clarke of the ECB, casts a very large shadow and it appears no-one has the courage to stand up to the power of BCCI and ECB whilst Mr Srinivasan and Mr Clarke remain in de facto control of those Boards," Smith wrote in his letter to Verma.
Smith made it clear that it now all depends on what will be the final verdict of the Supreme Court of India as FICA's chances of success taking legal recourse "is not positive".
"I have taken legal advice at the highest level on what options for legal action are available to FICA in light of the current governance crisis and the news is not positive either in terms of likely success, cost or risk. The consensus is that what you and the Supreme Court of India are doing represents the best course of action," Smith was quoted as saying.
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Image: Ian Smith
Photographs: Graham Chadwick /Allsport
'There is every likelihood that Srinivasan will turn up in Melbourne and be crowned as ICC's first chairman'
Smith also cited the practical difficulties of taking the matter to a logical conclusion even if Ethics Officer Sean Cleary investigates the matter as it will be ICC Board's prerogative to accept or reject his findings. The reason being ICC Board will be headed by the same man against whom the charges were framed.
"The process of getting the Ethics Officer, Mr Cleary, to formally investigate our complaint (or any complaint) is pretty rigorous and time-consuming.
"The main problem is that, whilst I have absolutely no doubt about the bona fides, skills and experience of Mr Cleary, his findings and recommendations go to the ICC Board who then decide whether they accept them and whether or not they will implement his recommendations," Smith was quoted in the letter.
"As you can imagine, this does not lead to faith in the system as it would be the same men who can’t currently bring themselves to take any action who would be determining whether action was necessary! This is a giant flaw in the system," Smith said in his letter.
The FICA’s top boss didn't make any bones about the fact that the BCCI rules world cricket.
"If no-one at BCCI is going to stop Mr Srinivasan and the Supreme Court do not intervene, I am confident that no one at ICC will do so. I think there is every likelihood that Mr Srinivasan will turn up in Melbourne and be crowned as ICC's first chairman."
Image: Narayanaswami Srinivasan