N Srinivasan © PTI
New Delhi: Jul 3, 2014
Controversial International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman N Srinivasan, who continues to insist that he has done nothing wrong, has said that countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan who initially had reservations about the “new arrangement” in world cricket have now realised that it is good for them financially.
Srinivasan was unanimously elected the first chairman of the ICC despite the fact that he was asked to step aside as the Indian cricket board chief by the Supreme Court pending an investigation into corruption in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL).
Srinivasan said that attempts were made to scuttle his chances but the ICC members had faith in him.
“The attempts that were made by some quarters did not succeed, and the other members of the ICC, I think, reposed their faith in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and in me, and as a result the election was unanimous. So, you know, in hindsight, you know, it is difficult now to go back and see what was in my mind at that time,” Srinivasan told NDTV in an interview.
Srinivasan said that he voluntarily had stepped down as the BCCI president contrary to the general perception that he was forced to do so by the Supreme Court.
“Even some people said I was barred. But actually I had voluntarily stepped aside. But all these are the things, which had happened. What is important is what you look forward to,” he said.
Asked that Sri Lanka and Pakistan have gone on record saying ICC was concentrating too much power in the hands of too few, Srinivasan said: “This is a change from the past. But ultimately when they studied it, everybody understood that it was for everyone and everyone felt it was good for cricket and that is how it got accepted by everybody. And you must understand that when something new or something different is proposed it will take a little time for everyone to accept it.”
Srinivasan said there is finally some recognition of India’s contribution for filling up the coffers of the ICC.
“India contributes 75-80%, that is the expectation. The correct way to look at it is that there is recognition of India’s contribution. And India is not taking all that it brings to the table. India is being very fair and I think the perception has to change,” he said.
Srinivasan also didn’t agree that the ICC has failed in its attempt to check corruption despite recent cases of cricketers like New Zealand’s Lou Vicent and Bangladesh’s former captain Mohammed Ashraful being banned for life for fixing matches.
“I don’t think ICC has failed to do it. In fact ICC has stepped up its vigil. And the most important aspect about is the education programmes that are being run constantly
before ICC events,” he said.
Srinivasan said that ICC has been active in educating players about corruption and now more players are reporting cases of approaches made to them by fixers.
“I think ICC is taking a lot of efforts to educate people, educate teams as to… on this subject. Also even to the extent to details how approaches can be made, how players should report. And in fact as I understand it, the number of reports that is, players have started to report more. Even the slightest approach is being reported. So I think slowly but surely the efforts of the ICC are paying off,” he said.
Srinivasan said there are some attempts to fix matches but cricket overall is clean.
“Well you see I think there have been some instance where the spot fixing has taken place and some instances have been discovered where attempts have been made to fix matches. But if you look at it over all, the number of matches that are being played, it is the opinion of almost everybody, that most of the cricket is very clean,” he said.