Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Tony Becca: Former ICC boss needs to speak up

Published:Wednesday | April 15, 2015 | 12:00 AMTony Becca
Former ICC President Mustafa Kamal.

Mustafa Kamal, the International Cricket Council (ICC) president from Bangladesh, resigned recently. In doing so, however, he failed to keep a promise.

Kamal had promised to spill the beans about the ICC when after criticising what he saw as a poor umpiring decision in a Cricket World Cup match, and after he was asked to apologise for his outburst and refusing to do so, he was, as president of the ICC and the one who was supposed to do so, barred from presenting the trophy to champions Australia, or from even taking part in the presentation.

At the time, an irate Kamal had said: "After I go back home I will let the whole world know what's happening in the ICC. I will tell the whole world about those guys who are doing these mischievous things."

On his arrival at his home airport a few days afterwards, he said: "Everyone saw what happened during the Bangladesh-India match - India has influenced the outcome of the match using its position (in the ICC)."

Apart from that, he said nothing and he did nothing, except to say that he could not prove anything, that he had nothing against anybody.

 

sour grapes

 

It may have been sour grapes, but it would have been interesting to hear what the man, who is known as the former financier of Bangladeshi cricket and the man who is currently defence minister in the Bangladeshi government, knows about what is happening in the ICC.

Kamal had promised to reveal information from within the ICC, the body which he called, not the International Cricket Council, but the 'Indian Cricket Council'.

Early last year, Bangladesh became one of the last countries to agree to the takeover of the ICC by a triumvirate headed by India and including Australia and England, and that, after the promise that they would remain a Test-playing country.

The West Indies was one of the first to agree to the takeover and Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka were the last to do so, saying, despite their many fears, they had too much to lose if they did not fall in line.

According to the revamp exercise India, Australia and England control the ICC, especially its revenue; and with India, Australia and England cutting the cake and sharing it up, the plan is to give the other countries what they consider their fair share.

The incident sparking all this occurred when Bangladesh's Rubel Hossain bowled a full toss to India's Rohit Sharma in the quarter-final match and the umpire signalled no-ball, only for the batsman to be caught at square leg.

Bangladesh did not like the call, captain Mashrafe Mortaza talked to the umpires about it, officials of the team said that they would appeal the decision and Bangladesh Board President Nazmul Hassan said that "what is needed to be done will be done".

Kamal, however, was also not satisfied with the call and after huffing and puffing, said that "the umpiring was very poor, there was no quality in the umpiring and that it seemed as if they had gone into the match with something in mind."

Kamal also said that the ICC will see if this was done deliberately, that he saw what he saw and that other teams, like Australia and South Africa, would have reacted similarly if they were also victims of poor umpiring decisions.

Dave Richardson, the CEO of the ICC, subsequently dismissed Kamal's criticism as coming from a fan and not the president of the ICC, saying that as far as the ICC is concerned, the umpire's call is always final.

 

kamal's criticism as president

 

That is why, whether or not umpires Aleem Dar and Ian Gould were really wrong in their decisions, the criticism coming from the president of the ICC should be taken seriously, and very seriously at that.

As the old saying goes, 'that is not cricket', especially coming from one 'so influential' and one with a connection to the losing team.

That behaviour also prompted an emergency meeting of ICC directors present at the World Cup and after Kamal had defended his right as a Bangladeshi to defend Bangladesh, he was barred from officiating at the World Cup final.

That angered Kamal even more.

In January, the ICC had amended its memorandum of association unanimously to say that the president shall act solely as chairman of conference and special meetings, and be responsible for presenting trophies at global competitions and cricket events held under the aegis of the council.

The World Cup trophy was handed over to Australia by Narayanaswami Srinivasan, president of the Indian Board and chairman of the ICC.

"I was supposed to hand over the trophy today," said Kamal after the World Cup final. "It is my constitutional right. But very unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to do so."

After promising to tell all about the ICC, however, Kamal ran for cover.