The board of Control for Cricket in India has asked the International Cricket Council to remove Clive Lloyd, the former West Indian captain, from his post as chairman of the ICC's Cricket Committee following some remarks Lloyd made at a public function in Mumbai recently.
Lloyd had expressed hope that the Indian Premier League and the Indian Cricket League could co-exist, saying, "There's nothing like having a discussion to break the ice. Just like the United States president Barack Obama said 'you have to speak to people'. They [IPL and ICL] both need to understand their agendas and work accordingly."
The former West Indian great, who has replaced Sunil Gavaskar as the head of the ICC's cricket committee, added, "Leagues similar to the IPL and ICL will not only bring young talented players in the national team but will also make their basics clear."
In doing so he has incurred the BCCI's wrath. "When Mr Gavaskar was chairman of the cricket committee, he was told he had to choose between making certain comments, as a television commentator and as a journalist and holding an important ICC post. Why should it be any different with Mr Lloyd," a source in the Indian board observed.
When Gavaskar headed the ICC's cricket committee his trenchant columns attracted severe criticism from Australia and England, who were often the target of Gavaskar's blunt opinions. At the time David Morgan, ICC president, said: "There is a concern that he (Gavaskar) is chairman of the cricket committee and a journalist who has expressed some fairly outspoken comments." With the cries of a conflict of interest growing louder every day, Gavaskar finally had to choose between his ICC post and the freedom to express his views as he pleased. He chose the latter, and now the BCCI is demanding that Lloyd do the same.
The BCCI contends that the issue of the ICL and whether it should be given authorized unofficial cricket is still being discussed by the ICC and its members. Therefore Lloyd really had no right to comment one way or the other on its status. The BCCI will also say that Lloyd, by going public with his statements, is showing a lack of respect to the ICC and to member boards who are working on the issue on an ongoing basis. The other aspect that will have the BCCI up in arms is that the ICL is, essentially, a domestic issue and the ICC has thus far left it to the Indian board to handle. The ICC's cricket committee has no jurisdiction over this and Lloyd making these statements could be construed as interference.
A source confirmed that the BCCI had already made its stand clear, in writing to the ICC.
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, and David Morgan, were unavailable for comment on the issue.