News 3 April 2015

ICC President resigns over corruption row

Mustafa Kamal has resigned as President of the International Cricket Council (ICC), after a row over comments made after Bangladesh’s quarter-final defeat by India at the Cricket World Cup. Kamal said that Bangladesh’s 109-run loss appeared to have been “pre-arranged” and criticised the umpiring. As a result, he was denied the opportunity of presenting the Cricket World Cup trophy to Australia after Sunday’s final in Melbourne.

“I resign right at this moment – I am no longer ICC President”, Kamal told reporters in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka. “The main reason for my resignation is that I can’t work with those who can act unconstitutionally and unlawfully. These type of people should be away from cricket, otherwise cricket will be spoilt, cricket will not move forward. I’m sure people will find out why I have resigned and they will unearth the truth – who are these people, what are they doing, and how they are running ICC.”

In an interview, Kamal said that the ICC’s Executive Board has little choice but to accept the wishes of India, as it brings in most of the revenue. “The ICC has become a gang of three”, he told the Indian Express. “India, England and Australia are running the show”. Kamal also refused to apologise for his comments following Bangladesh’s loss to India. “Even the ICC release said the no-ball was a fifty-fifty call. Why have they deleted the footage (of the incident)? Why wasn’t the spider-cam working? Why was the giant screen, operated by ICC, repeatedly flashing the message: Jitega bhai jitega, India jitega [a message of support for India]? Umpires are humans. They make mistakes. But in that game, they were handicapped by the absence of technology.”

In the interview, Kamal indicated that he does have evidence to support his claims and asked the ICC to look into his allegations in his resignation letter, but that he would stop short of legal action. “My position prevents me to put up (conspiracy) theories out of thin air”, he told the Indian Express. “What happened in the board meeting on the eve of the final? Led by Srinivasan [the ICC’s Indian Chairman], they asked me to offer an apology for my comment. I refused. Then they told me to withdraw my comment. I categorically said I couldn’t do.”

A 1 April media release from the ICC claimed that Kamal was stepping down on ‘personal grounds’, adding that Kamal had offered his apologies to all associated with the ICC, adding that ‘he had no complaints to make against anyone’. The ICC will consider who to appoint as Kamal’s replacement at its Dubai meeting on 15 and 16 April.

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