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Cricketers boss says ICC chief embarrassing

June 27, 2014

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The head of the organization which represents the world’s top cricketers has described as “embarrassing” the appointment of Indian industrialist Narayanaswami Srinivasan as chairman of the International Cricket Council.

Australian Paul Marsh, who is shortly to step down as executive chairman of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, said the election Thursday of Srinivasan to the most powerful role in world cricket was “very concerning.”

Srinivasan is currently barred by the Indian Supreme Court from performing his duties as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and has been listed as one of 13 persons of interest in an investigation of corruption in the Indian Premier League.

In a FICA statement on Friday, Marsh said “our strong preference was for the controversy involving Mr. Srinivasan in India to be resolved before the ICC made a decision on the chairmanship.”

Srinivasan’s appointment followed changes to the structure of the ICC which awards virtual control of world cricket to India, England and Australia. India lobbied strongly for Srinivasan’s appointment and his nomination was carried with strong support from both Australia and England.

India provides almost 70 percent of cricket’s international revenues and the election of Srinivasan and the revamped ICC structure, affording power to the sport’s ‘big three’, are seen as measures to prevent India quitting the world body.

Marsh bemoaned the concentration of political power into fewer hands.

“It’s difficult to see how cricket has got to this point,” he said in an interview with Australia’s SEN Radio. “It’s one of the saddest things I’ve seen in cricket.

“It’s embarrassing for the game that we’re in this position.

“The process that they’ve gone through to get to this point is very concerning. Effectively what’s happened here is the ‘big three’ boards of England, Australia and India have taken over the world game.”

Marsh said it was likely the big three would share a larger share of revenue at the expense of smaller nations.

“I don’t know how that helps build the world game,” he said. “I don’t see that cricket has a huge future if the game becomes about three or four countries.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years is that the game has been run very much along selfish lines.”

Marsh will be succeeded as FICA chairman by Tony Irish of South Africa.

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