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Gavaskar quits from ICC

The former India captain was asked to choose between his position with the ICC and his job as a paid media pundit.

cricket Updated: May 08, 2008 22:01 IST

Sunil Gavaskar's controversial chairmanship of ICC's Cricket Committee came to a sudden end today when he announced his resignation from the post, weeks after he was asked to choose between his media commitments and his role with the games's world governing body.

The former India captain conveyed his decision to the ICC bringing an end to his long eight-year stint which was not only marked by a number of innovative decisions but also landed him in controversies for his outspoken views.

Gavaskar intimated his decision to the ICC yesterday after chairing the Cricket Committee meeting which concluded in Dubai on Tuesday, ICC's acting Chief Executive Officer David Richardson said in a statement in Dubai.

The ICC had put Gavaskar on notice after discussing the potential for a conflict of interest for a person chairing the ICC Cricket Committee while, at the same time, working for a media outlet in its meeting in March in Dubai.

Gavaskar took over as the Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee from West Indian Clyde Walcott in June 2000. He was given a one year extension in 2006 and was re-elected to the post in 2007. The ICC statement, however, did not specify when his term was due to end.

No decision has yet been made on who will succeed Gavaskar.

Gavaskar said with more and more cricket being played it was not possible for him to do justice with the two jobs.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the eight years I have held the role (of ICC Cricket Committee Chairman), which is an honorary position, and it has been extremely fulfilling to be able to give back to the game through that role", Gavaskar said.

"However, with more and more cricket being played it has become clear that it is not possible for me to do justice to two jobs, the chairmanship of the ICC Cricket Committee and my media commitments," Gavaskar said.

The master bastman said it was not possible for him to juggle in different responsibilities at the same time.

"As an example of that, I had to leave my professional commitments as a commentator on the Indian Premier League matches in order to come and chair this year's meeting in Dubai," Gavaskar said.

"I envisaged the potential for this sort of issue two years ago and intimated then that I was not able to continue in the role but when I was asked to do so I was honoured to be re-elected.

"Now, however, it is clear I cannot combine both roles and therefore I am relinquishing the chair of the ICC Cricket Committee," said the first cricketer to score 10,000 Test runs.

Richardson said the ICC would try to utilise Gavaskar's expertise to benefit the game in some other capacity in future.

"Having someone of Sunil's stature involved has to be of benefit to the game and given the ICC's lengthy relationship with him we hope we can still utilise his knowledge in some other capacity in the future," Richardson said

"We are indebted to the work Sunil has put into his role as Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee. He has brought his vast experience of the game to bear, not only over the eight years of his chairmanship but also the six years prior to that, when he was a delegate on the same committee," he said.

Some of Gavaskar's critical columns had not gone down well with the ICC top-brass and his scathing attack on Match Referee Mike Procter after the controversial Sydney Test between India and Australia irked the game's world governing body.

Gavaskar had alleged that Procter preferred to agree with a "white player's version" than a player of Sachin Tendulkar's integrity during the racial row involving Harbhajan Singh and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds in January.

Gavaskar had also termed some ICC member countries like England and Australia as "dinosaurs", alleging they could not stomach India's growing clout in the game.

The ICC then decided to give the former Indian captain the option of choosing between his job as a commentator and columnist and that of the chairman of the cricket committee.

Among the innovative recommendations his committee had made were a referral system in Tests and introduction of the hawk eye technology for deciding LBWs.

In its last meeting, the Cricket Committee also took stock of Twenty20's rise and stressed on the need to strike the right balance among the three formats of the game.

The Committee also recommended changes for the current playing conditions and suggested that "the bowl-out in the event of a tie in the ICC World Twenty20 or ICC Champions Trophy should be replaced by a one-over-per-team play-off".

Among other suggestions, the committee said, "Substitute fielders should only be permitted in cases of injury, illness or other wholly acceptable reasons."