CEC election intensifies amid Cricket AGM as tension continues after CEO sacked
The ICC’s costume and tie extravagance ended on Sunday with its AGM amid Zoom’s new normal – a far cry from the days when cricket brokers gathered in glamorous places where some of the between them could be found chained to the waterhole of their glitzy hotel at night.
The pandemic has put an end to this type of schmoozing, although there are plenty of campaigns going on for the three associate member positions up for grabs in the all-important CEO’s Committee (CEC) election, which has ramifications for power struggles on the board.
Just like in local governments, there has been a push and pull where power is controlled – the board of directors or the administration. Clearly, the real power of cricket lies in its board of directors – made up of chairmen of the 12 full members, three associate directors, an independent director and the chairman.
As we have seen throughout the saga of Manu Sawhney – the recently dismissed International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO who did not endear himself to powerful cricket nations – the influence lies in the board, especially the three great nations of India. , England and Australia.
There was a feeling that India, in particular, wanted to regain control after former President Shashank Manohar – along with his deputy Imran Khwaja – limited the power of the Big Three following their heist of cricket in 2014.
An emboldened India – led by starving duo Jay Shah and Sourav Ganguly – managed to pass its favorite presidential candidate, Greg Barclay, against Singaporean Khwaja in last year’s controversial presidential election.
Moreover, the brash Sawhney, who had commercially focused on pumping cricket coffers rather than just filling the deep pockets of the Big Three, is now gone in what he describes as a ‘witch hunt’.
This was the elephant in the room during the AGM and the silence on the matter is telling. The saga highlighted divisions within the board that still exist more than ever, although no one ultimately stood in the way of Barclay’s decision to fire Sawhney, who has since appealed – sources say – and this ugly quarrel seems ready to get bogged down in quarrels. lawyers.
There are tensions within the board, even mistrust on the part of some, exacerbated with only a handful of directors having access to the PwC report that fueled Sawhney’s demise until just hours before. the fateful emergency meeting when it was distributed to the entire board, sources said.
All of this adds to the intrigue over the developments of the CEC, which is seen as a stepping stone for Associate Chiefs to access the Board of Directors. The CEC is supposed to promote and develop cricket around the world, while governing and regulating the sport at the international level.
For associate chefs, it is highly desirable to access the CEC and gain weight on boards of directors. Board members will also want to build relationships with them in an effort to build allegiances.
There are 11 candidates vying for the three positions. Incumbents Bashir Ansasiira (Uganda), Mark Stafford from Vanuatu and Sumod Damodar from Botswana will contest.
I have been informed that the other candidates are Rashpal Bajwa (Canada), Umair Butt (Denmark), Greg Campbell (PNG), Kelum Asanka Perera (Italy), Betty Timmer (Netherlands), Mubashshir Usmani (UAE), Rudie Van Vuuren (Namibia), Eisa Y Al-Yaqoub (Qatar).
The vote, which runs July 19-23, will take place via the ICC’s preferred “weighted” secret ballot system, which involves voters from 40 associate members and five regional representatives (Americas, Asia, Europe, Asia and Asia). East Pacific and Africa) each selection of three candidates in order of preference.
Newly elected CEC members receive two-year terms.
Unsurprisingly, all three starters got inside with newcomer Ansasiira, who beat famed Timmer in a by-election earlier this year, having impressed his peers in his short spell in the role.
The candidacy of Timmer, who resigned the Dutch presidency in April, has turned heads of those who think she is more interested in the development of the Netherlands than in working for the cause of the Associates, according to sources.
It’s a theme emerging as a backdrop and threatening to divide Associates, highlighted by a potential takeover by 10 high-performing Associate Nations who have indicated they want 50% of the performances available to Associate Members at the board of directors and the CEC.
Currently they do not have one, but the field for the CEC election is filled with candidates from these countries. Canada, PNG, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Namibia and Qatar are among these top performing associate countries and want greater influence among the powerful brokers of cricket.
The much-loved Usmani (UAE) and Canada’s Bajwa are seen as the most likely to usurp the incumbents, according to insiders who follow the developments.
USA Cricket General Manager Iain Higgins is not arguing and his absence caused a stir. With ICC determined to bring cricket to the fore in the United States – a long-coveted potential cricket gold mine – it was speculated that Higgins and USA Cricket President Paraag Marathe would begin to rise through the ranks and gain access to to these powerful positions within the CEC and the Board of Directors.
San Francisco 49ers executive vice president Marathe, who is still learning the ropes of cricket, did not raise a hand for the board election late last year.
Some insiders believe Higgins, a former director of ICC operations, could be in the mix to replace Sawhney. His intention is unknown, although it is believed he is determined to navigate a potentially important period of cricket in the United States, which is shaping up for a defining decade.
Even so, Higgins’ absence from the CEC race has fueled speculation that he could be fired at the ICC.
With numerous innuendos typical of elections everywhere, this race heated up amid high stakes.