Chief Executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA), Tim May stated today:
“The next ICC Executive Board meeting will truly test whether the directors of the Board make decisions based on the greater interests of the game or whether the directors vote on the basis of what is best for their country.”
“The ICC’s Executive Board charter is to make decisions for the greater interests of the game.
“The directors have a fiduciary duty to act in the interests of the game.”
The recent Woolf Review of the Governance of the ICC, concludes that, “ICC Board members typically represent the interests of their constituents, rather than the interests and goals of the greater interests of the global game.”
Woolf recommends to address this problem and to conform to accepted norms of basic governance, the ICC Board should become a Board that is comprised of independent directors possessing a wide array of necessary skills to govern the game.
“A number of Boards have indicated that they will reject the major recommendation of the Woolf Report to adopt an independent Board, because they do not want to give up the right of voting what is best for their country.
“Perhaps those Board members need a refresher course as to what purpose they are supposed to perform on the Board.
“Their responsibility is clear – it is to make decisions based on the greater interests of the game, not the self interests of the Board members.
“The players and FICA want ICC to be a strong, decisive, respected and independent ruling Body that encompasses good governance.
Clearly the Woolf Report has highlighted that the ICC structures are NOT APPROPRIATE to govern our game.
“In many cases, the criticisms made to the Review Team were remarkably similar. It is our view that if these criticisms are not tackled, there is a serious risk that the ICC’s reputation could at any time be seriously damaged. This report addresses how these risks should be avoided.
Failure to respond to the criticisms will cause consequential harm to the ICC’s vision of a bigger and better future for cricket. In addition, unless the ICC (in the reasonably near future) is in the position to make it clear that significant changes are imminent, many of the Members most adversely affected by the present situation could lose their enthusiasm for trying to achieve improvements in the situation.
In short, protecting and maintaining the reputation of cricket is fundamental to the long term sustainability of the game. It may be everyone’s responsibility, but the ICC has, and should have, a lead role to play. Repositioning the ICC to proactively shape the overall governance of the game rather than its current reactive role on behalf of the Full Members is critical
Woolf Report 2012
“FICA supports the structure that is recommended by Lord Woolf – importantly it is free from conflict of interest, and results in a structure where fellow directors cannot be swayed by threats, intimidation or favor,” May added.
“As Lord Woolf has observed, the current ICC Board structure lacks independence, it lacks the perception of being independent, it lacks the ability to elect a pertinent spread of skills around the Board table, and it even lacks the ability to elect Board members to its own committees.
“The ICC Board needs relevant expertise and integrity to deal with issues that can and may confront our game.
“It needs to act in the interests of the wider game, not the interests of a minority.
“ICC has an opportunity to take the lead and adopt a structure that is appropriate to the needs and demands of the cricket landscape.
“Increasingly some of the ICC’s members are reviewing their own Governance Structures to ensure more independence, less conflicts of interest and a greater and more even spread of skills exist at Board level.
“Further, a vast number of other ICC members need to review their Structures – more and more countries are experiencing financial and operational difficulties, and much of that is being blamed on poor governance and decision making.
“The ICC has a real chance to change its structures, to act as a leader and to produce significant benefit for not only the game now, but more importantly for future generations of the game.
“It has a real chance to lead the game and act in the best interests of its sport.
“That is the responsibility that the ICC directors’ are obligated to discharge,” May concluded.