New Delhi: Cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar maybe all set to step down as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) cricket committee chairman over an apparent conflict of interests between his roles as a cricket committee head and a paid media pundit, but he has received support from former skipper Sourav Ganguly.
ICC asked Gavaskar to give up his other job of a commentator and columnist, which is in "direct conflict" with his duties in the ICC.
"He was such a big player and is such a big personality. It will be great if he stays connected with cricket. if he leaves ICC, it would be ICC's loss. For Indian cricket, Gavaskar is a big thing," Ganguly said.
The 58-year-old former India captain has been called to meet ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed at the governing body's Dubai headquarters to account for his controversial media columns. Voting, that is said to have been unanimous, was carried at last week's executive committee meeting in Dubai.
"The ICC board discussed the matter last week and off the back of that, Sunil Gavaskar will be meeting with Malcolm Speed in due course to discuss the matter further," the ICC spokesman told Reuters from Dubai. He said no date had been fixed for the meeting.
Gavaskar, a popular television commentator, described England and Australia as "dinosaurs, still trying to voice their prejudiced opinions in the media, and may not open their eyes and see the reality" in a syndicated column.
A report in a British newspaper on Tuesday said that Gavaskar is to be asked to step down as ICC cricket committee chairman. The report said Gavaskar, a controversial figure since his retirement, was defending his criticism of match referee Mike Procter, after he had ruled against India's Harbhajan Singh for alleged racial abuse of Andrew Symonds in January's Sydney Test.
Gavaskar has made some scathing comments in an Indian newspaper on Tuesday too, taking potshots at certain officials. Gavaskar said that Australia and England were afraid of India's rising power in the cricketing world.
He had said, "As soon as Bindra's name was announced there was a flurry of articles in England and Australia that giving him the job will put too much power in India's hands, as Pawar was going to be President of the ICC in 2010. Only a few years back, there were two Australians at the top of the ICC. But there were no fears about Australia ruling the game then."
(With agency inputs)