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Asian bloc forced Speed to go on leave?

As per sources, PCB ganged up with its Asian counterparts, apart from the South Africans and Zimbabweans to force Malcolm Speed out of his job as they felt he was biased against them.

cricket Updated: Apr 28, 2008 14:52 IST

The Asian bloc, along with the cricket boards of South Africa and Zimbabwe, combined to force ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed out of his job prematurely as they felt the Australian was "biased" against them.

Speed went on paid leave just two months before the end of his tenure in June citing a "fundamental breakdown" between him and ICC President Ray Mali and member boards.

Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board revealed that the PCB ganged up with its Asian counterparts in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, apart from the South Africans and Zimbabweans, to force Speed out.

PCB sources said the six boards felt Speed's attitude was biased against them on certain issues, particularly over the financial report on the activities of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU).

"The decision to send Speed on forced leave was taken during the recent opening of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mumbai," a source told PTI.

He said the flashpoint in the relations between Speed and the executive board came at the last meeting held in Dubai where the ZCU report was discussed and cleared.

"Speed was told that as chief executive he must be clear at the media briefing that the ZCU audit report had revealed no financial irregularities but he refused to do this in violation of all norms creating an impression that some members were trying to protect the ZCU," the source said.

He said even on the issue of controversial umpire Darrell Hair's reinstatement, Speed played a "biased role" to get him back on Test duty despite resistance from some members.

The source said even on some other major issues like the Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds clash in Australia, Speed had differences with other members.