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ICC president-elect flays Gavaskar

David Morgan says the legendary batsman's comment on Mike Procter is operating with conflicts of interests.

cricket Updated: Jan 22, 2008 12:21 IST

International Cricket Council President-elect David Morgan has voiced his concern over Sunil Gavaskar's recent critical comments on match referee Mike Procter and said legendary batsman was operating with conflicts of interests.

Gavaskar, the former Indian captain and the present chairman of the ICC's cricket committee, wrote in his column that Indians wanted to know why Procter accepted the word of the "white man" over the word of the "brown man" and held Harbhajan Singh guilty of a racist breach.

"Conflicts of interests pervade our sport. In terms of Gavaskar, within the ICC, there is a concern now that he's chairman of the cricket committee and a journalist who has expressed some fairly outspoken comments," said Morgan in Perth, while on a business visit.

Morgan said ICC's General Manager David Richardson would look after the matter.

"But that would be dealt with by David Richardson of the ICC. In all walks of life and business, you have people operating with conflicts of interests. All boards have a policy for conflicts. When people come to the board table they leave their other baggage at the door," the 'Cricinfo.Com' quoted him as saying.

The former England and Wales Cricket Board President also said the decision to replace umpire Steve Bucknor was not inspired by the protest made by the Indian side and added that the ICC would back the West Indian.

"The decision to replace Bucknor was not the result from any protest from one of the participating teams. There was a protest but the decision wasn't a result of the process," Morgan said.

"I don't believe that a precedent is being set. I believe we have acted in the best interest of the game and the best interest of Bucknor. He's our longest serving umpire and our best umpire. I'm sure he will be back," he added.

Morgan also described the showdown at WACA as a "terrific Test" and said the Sydney episode had lessons to be offered in umpiring and technology.

"Once we have fool-proof technology we should trial it. We need to see technology improved and find a way to embrace it. I think referral system with improved technology is the way to go, as long as it doesn't take away the authority of the umpires," he said.

The Englishman admitted the volume of cricket was a concern but said the claims were sometimes exaggerated. "The ICC doesn't drive the volume of cricket, the member Boards do. Volume of cricket is a concern, sometimes exaggerated.

"When England play Australia all that is needed as far as ICC is concerned is a two-match series, twice in six years. If we operated to that from a business point of view, it would be commercially suicidal. So it's a fact and minds (between the two concerned Boards) need to be engaged about it."