New Delhi: While the Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA) has called for a probe by the ICC into the election of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan to the cricket committee, its chief executive Tim May has spelt out he will not seek re-election even if the voting and election process is found to be unconstitutional in the inquiry.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, May also reiterated that FICA has evidence of certain boards trying to influence the votes of their captain, and that evidence would be presented to the ICC if an investigation is called for.
FICA has lodged an appeal to probe into Laxman Sivaramakrishnan's election into the ICC cricket committee. What does the FICA intend to find out from the enquiry?
I think we need to clarify something, I have excused myself from this process and notified the FICA board that there might be a perception that I have a personal interest in this particular issue so I have excused myself from any sort of policy direction or help FICA in the way they are going to be handling this particular issue. The FICA board has requested the ICC to investigate under their code of ethics as to whether boards interfered with the players' voting on this particular issue.
The FICA board doesn't really care whether it was Tim May or Laxman Sivaramakrisnan or Kumar Sangakkara or Joe Blow, for that matter who got voted in, so it's not the outcome, it's the process that the board has concerns about. And we have been contacted by a number of captains who have informed us that there was pressure put onto them to vote for a particular candidate. Rather than their mutual candidate of preference, from a longer term view, FICA are keen for the players' representatives to actually be the players' representatives, not one who is dictated to by various boards.
If certain boards have actually tried to influence captains to vote for a particular person as you say, it surely is a big concern then for the game itself?
It is something to be concerned about, the players aren't able to freely choose their own representative and obviously that's the cornerstone of the reason that the FICA board has asked the ICC to investigate. The ICC is apparently taking a reasonable amount of time you might say, deciding whether they will investigate this or not. Again, it's their processes, deciding processes, it's up to them to place it and all the FICA board can do is to request such a review and wait for the ICC to nullify it one way or the other.
There were some media reports that the votes were 9-1 in your favour, while there is also a strong buzz that it was tied 5-5. Would you tell us what might have happened actually?
I think you'll find that there's probably been three votes, there've been so many that I've lost count, there's certainly truth in that one or two of the votes were certainly 5-5 but, I think we have to go back to the first vote, understand exactly what occurred. The captains were asked in the first vote, to cast their votes to their respective boards and then the boards would then relay the votes to the ICC. We became aware that when the players did cast their initial votes that some boards intervened and requested their captains with reasons of being that it would be in the interests of both particular boards that the captain votes in a particular way.
Secondly, we have received information from some captains that their vote wasn't even forwarded on to the ICC. And you can probably join the dots as to why it probably wasn't passed on. That was the first vote, and then they took another vote as there must have been a tied vote or something like that and then the final vote where there was strict directive from the ICC that the boards weren't to interfere with the players' decisions.
Obviously, they had interfered before and the players were mindful of that and then the 5-5 vote turned into a 6-4 vote in favour of Laxman, you'd probably want to ask yourself that what happened to that one vote, why did that one vote change and we've had a conversation with the captain involved and we are under no illusions as to why that was.
IF FICA is in possession of evidence about the alleged wrongdoing, would you be presenting the evidence at some point of time?
Well, we aren't presenting the evidence if there isn't any investigation, simple as that. We just need to sit back and wait for the ICC to tell whether investigate or not. Given all the allegations, I find it difficult to know how the ICC would reject an investigation but, again, I am not the ICC, am I?
One thing I think everybody needs to be mindful and I would like to underline the fact to you that the FICA board is not making up a fuss about exactly who got voted in and who didn't. It's more about the process, I've gone to the ICC and said look, I don't know whether you are doing this investigation but if you do this investigation, I want to participate in that investigation without any perceived benefit accruing to me should the outcome be that the process was tarnished and I've advised the ICC that if one of the outcomes of this thing is that there needs to be a revote, I will not be seeking election to the committee, cause I want to be able to participate, fully, honestly and help the investigation without any perception, real or otherwise that I have any vested interest in the outcome.
How much of responsibility for this entire alleged fiasco lies at the doors of the BCCI and the ICC?
I don't think I can completely answer that, whether the BCCI was involved in the particular issue. Frankly, I don't know but it seems there are a lot of boards out there telling their players in the interests of that particular board to vote for a particular candidate. So the question that floats from that is why? What are those interests, what are the benefits that would accrue to those boards by voting for that particular person? People can work out what that is and then use logic for why they did that. In terms of the ICC, there's the process which they need to police and we would expect that the governing body of the stature of the ICC and the importance of the ICC would surely investigate the matter. We just wait.
Are you hopeful of the truth coming out someday?
We know the truth.
Are you hopeful of the truth coming out in front of the international fraternity?
We've got to be hopeful otherwise we wouldn't have decided to lodge a request for an investigation.