The International Cricket Council’s decision last week to initiate an independent investigation led by the ICC Ethics Officer and supported by global experts into the issue of confidentiality has raised a few questions amongst present and past officials who feel that there are quite a few areas that remain unanswered.
After the board meeting on Thursday, the ICC sent out a release pointing that all agenda items were deferred until June 10 following a discussion, led by chairman Shashank Manohar, around the issue of confidentiality. It further said the board will be updated on this by the ICC CEO at its next meeting on 10 June 2020.
Speaking to news agency IANS, a BCCI official in the know of developments asked that if the ICC CEO would be presenting the matter to the board, does that mean he would not be investigated? He further questioned if it wasn’t better to have the result handed to directors in sealed envelopes?
“Is there a relevance of the Ethics Officer and is the investigation not preempted? Is it the case that the CEO and the Chairman would not be subject to the proceedings? Should it not be the case that the Ethics Officer’s report in sealed cover be directly sent to the directors?” he enquired.
An official of a full member board asked if the servers of all the ICC employees would be checked to make it a thorough investigation. “Will we see the servers of all ICC employees being scrutinised? What exactly will be the procedure? Also, what about the physical movement at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has seen a restriction on movement? Also, a virtual meeting will be enough to assess individuals? What are the terms of reference for the investigation?” he enquired.
IANS did request for the terms of reference of the investigation from the ICC, but there was no reply to the same.
A former BCCI official who has attended ICC meetings in the past said he was surprised by the turn of events and that a meeting was deferred due to stories in the media.
“I am surprised that a “leak” was a substantial enough reason for the ICC’s matters to be put off for 10 days. They are crucial matters and it is not as if the ship hit an iceberg, it was a leak. There have been numerous leaks in this administration and there will be many more in the next. Will the organisation come to a standstill with every leak? To me it seems that someone was just buying some time to attempt that the transition happens to go someone’s way,” he pointed.
The two stories in the media that created the stir was firstly the exchange of tax-related letters between the ICC and the BCCI. And the second was Cricket Australia Chairman informing the ICC that it wasn’t in a position to host the 2020 T20 World Cup in October-November with an eye on the current global situation due to the coronavirus pandemic.