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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Cricket

N Srinivasan takes over as ICC chairman
AFP
Melbourne, June 26, 2014
First Published: 11:34 IST(26/6/2014)
Last Updated: 17:09 IST(26/6/2014)
A file photo of N Srinivasan as he arrives to take part during the auction for IPL-4 in Bangalore. (PTI photo)

Controversial cricket chief N Srinivasan said his conscience was clear after being elected on Thursday as the new ICC chairman at the world body's annual conference.

The powerful industrialist was appointed despite being suspended by Supreme Court as the country's top cricket official after being named in a damning report into corruption allegations in the Indian Premier League.

His ascension to the top job follows changes last February to the governance of the ICC, which handed the majority of power and revenues to the sport's "big three" nations -- India, Australia and England.

Under the new structure, an ICC executive committee has been formed, chaired by Cricket Australia head Wally Edwards, with England's Giles Clarke heading up the finance and commercial affairs committee.

Srinivasan, 69, denied he was not a fit and proper person to become the first chairman of the ICC, which was previously headed by a president.

He said that instead of being suspended he "voluntarily" stepped down while the corruption claims were being looked into by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

"Now as far as I am concerned I have done nothing wrong," he told a media conference in Melbourne where the annual meeting was held.

"There is no wrong-doing on my part and therefore my conscience is very clear that there is no taint on me and whatever investigations will take its course, reports will come out.

"I believe that some of the criticism is unfair to me and it's not well-founded. One must judge me by results. It's the first day. I have just been elected.

"One has to wait and see as to what is the effect I have on the ICC before you make that call."
    
Corruption allegations
        
Srinivasan was among 13 people named in the IPL corruption allegations.

The IPL Twenty20 competition has been embroiled in allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing, including against Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings.

"There are some charges against him (Meiyappan). He has to defend himself in court, it's a question of whether it's going to be proved or not," Srinivasan said.

"But that's up to him. This is a question about me.

"I think you have to wait until everything is clear. At the end of day if nothing is proved, I think all this comment would have been unfair."

Srinivasan denied the ICC had an image problem, with an inquiry currently underway into corruption that has rocked world cricket.

"I can't accept that cricket has an image problem," he said.

"There may have been some instances. Rare instances, few and far between.

"ICC has been taking very strong steps. They have an anti-corruption and security unit which has done extremely good work. They don't publicise what they do."

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and ex-New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent were this month handed lengthy bans from all forms of cricket for their roles in a Twenty20 match-fixing scandal.

Srinivasan said he was looking forward to his new assignment.

"I will leave no stone unturned in trying to strengthen the pillars and foundations of our sport, both on and off the field," he said.

"I want to ensure that cricket retains and grows its popularity, and that the ICC plays a leading role in this global growth.

"I want to see more strong teams in international cricket. For this to be achieved, we all need to work hard to develop local talent in our countries."

Srinivasan becomes the first ICC chairman and replaces outgoing Australian Alan Isaac, who served a two-year term as president.

The new president, Bangladesh's Mustafa Kamal, will serve under Srinivasan.


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