Melbourne: A miffed Federation of International Cricketers Association today demanded an ICC ethics committee enquiry into BCCI-backed L Sivaramakrishnan's appointment as a players' representative in the governing body, saying captains could have been forced to vote against incumbent Tim May.
Sivaramakrishnan replaced May, who is also the FICA CEO, on the ICC Cricket Committee after a reported re-vote pushed for by the BCCI. It is alleged that in the initial vote, May had won 9-1 but the BCCI used its financial might to coerce the Cricket Boards of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe into asking their respective captains to vote for Sivaramakrishnan.
FICA's legal advisor Ian Smith said Boards were pressurised despite ICC warnings of not interfering in the secret ballot. "In light of media reports that five ICC full member boards applied direct pressure on their captains to amend their votes in the recent elections, FICA's official stance is that these allegations must warrant careful and independent scrutiny," Smith said.
"Especially because we understand ICC specifically instructed the Boards not to interfere in the voting process. The actions, allegedly instigated by BCCI, are a timely and stark reminder of the very serious shortcomings in governance at ICC highlighted more than a year ago by the Woolf Report and about which ICC has done nothing in the intervening period," he was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Smith rejected the argument that lobbying for a post should not be construed as threatening. "It is further apparent from statements made by unnamed ICC Board sources overnight that they are trying to position the involved Boards' actions as 'lobbying', but there should be a very clear distinction made between a candidate lobbying for a vote and an employer threatening an employee to change their vote."