The International Cricket Council’s decision to allow Narayanaswami Srinivasan to take over as chairman is embarrassing, the world players’ union chief says.
“Our strong preference was for the controversy involving Mr Srinivasan in India to be resolved before the ICC made a decision on the chairmanship,” the outgoing chief of the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA), Paul Marsh, said in a statement on Friday.
Srinivasan was confirmed in the ICC’s top post on Thursday following meetings at the MCG.
The 69-year-old industrialist is among 13 people named in a damning report into corruption allegations in the Indian Premier League.
He has been suspended by the Indian Supreme Court as that country’s cricket chief, but insisted to reporters on Thursday he’d done nothing wrong and he had a clear conscience.
Marsh told SEN Radio earlier on Friday he was staggered at recent off-field events in world cricket.
“It’s difficult to see how cricket has got to this point,” Marsh said.
“It’s one of the saddest things I’ve seen in cricket.
“It’s embarrassing for the game that we’re in this position.
“As the incoming chairman said yesterday, judge him on his results, and I guess we’re going to be watching that pretty closely.
“The process that they’ve gone through to get to this point is very concerning.
“Effectively what’s happened here is the ‘Big Three’ boards of England, Australia and India have taken over the world game.
“Their slant on it is that they’re showing leadership and they’re going to take the game forward.”
Marsh predicted increased revenues for Australia, England and India.
“I don’t know how that helps build the world game,” he said.
“I don’t see that cricket has a huge future if the game becomes about three or four countries.
“What we’ve seen over the last few years is that the game has been run very much along selfish lines and that’s how we’re judging our view on this at the moment.”
Marsh said it appeared England and Australia had aligned themselves with India in an attempt to stay on the right side of the Indian board which generates about 70 per cent of the game’s income.
“It’s a pragmatic decision that if they’re not with them then they’re against them,” Marsh said.
“They (India) have historically threatened to not tour certain countries unless countries follow India’s lead.”
The FICA has appointed South Africa’s Tony Irish as its new executive chairman in place of Marsh who is set to join the AFL Players’ Association.