Cricket enters uncertain waters under leadership of unpopular mogul.
New ICC chairman N. Srinivasan on Thursday denied reports that India’s all-powerful cricket board had threatened to pull out of the global body.
The Indian cricket chief has been put in charge of the International Cricket Council amid changes to its governance that have handed the majority of power and revenues to the sport’s “big three” nations — India, Australia and England.
Earlier this month Sanjay Patel, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), was quoted as saying India had considered quitting the ICC unless it received a greater share of the global game’s revenues.
But asked if the reported threat to walk away from the ICC had played a driving force in the development of the “Big Three” proposals, Srinivasan said that was an “incorrect assessment”.
“India has at all times been very supportive of the ICC,” he told a news conference during the ICC annual conference in Melbourne.
“We may not always agree. But that doesn’t mean that one walks away.
“We (India) have a view. We always felt we had a right to express our view.
“That doesn’t mean at any time we would have even dreamt of walking away from the ICC.”
Patel had reportedly said the BCCI demanded a meeting with the ICC at its Dubai headquarters after commissioning a survey which showed India generated more than 70 percent of the game’s revenues.
“We told them that if India is not getting its proper due and importance then India might be forced to form a second ICC of its own,” Patel said in speech in Hyderabad, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.
Srinivasan was appointed ICC chief on Thursday despite being suspended by India’s Supreme Court as the country’s top cricket official, after being named in a damning report into corruption allegations in the Indian Premier League.
But on Thursday the man regarded as world cricket’s most powerful figure said his conscience was clear.
“The media is entitled to have a view,” Srinivasan said.
“Ultimately the facts have to be there. Most of the criticism is not well-founded, as time will tell.
“Beyond that, it is difficult for me to go because there is a matter in some court that I do not want to overstep.”
Srinivasan was among 13 people named in the Indian Premier League corruption allegations.
The IPL Twenty20 competition has been embroiled in allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing, including against Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings.