ICC needs more independent voices to thrive, insists president Morgan

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The Independent Online

The long-established belief that cricket's governing body needs to be given proper power gained support yesterday from an unlikely quarter. David Morgan, the outgoing president of the International Cricket Council, called for more independent directors in his departing address.

For decades the ICC has been hamstrung by the partisan stances of its individual member countries, with the upshot that it keeps being blamed for decisions – or non-decisions – over which it has little control. There are few independent voices and while consensus can sometimes be reached it is also true that the Asian bloc usually sticks together while the old guard of white nations is rarely out of step with each other.

Morgan said in the ICC's annual report: "There have been improvements, with directors now looking to act for the greater good of the game. However, there are still further improvements to be made and the recruitment of additional independent directors would improve corporate governance."

Morgan is famously non-controversial in his public declarations but he clearly sees that the board cannot stay as it is. The ICC has suffered frequent embarrassments, among the latest of which was its decision to introduce the Umpire Review System, which then India bluntly refused to do. It has also run into trouble because of the cost.

But cricket remains in an extremely healthy financial state thanks to the success of its often maligned global events and the TV rights attached to them. The ICC made a profit last year of almost $85m (£55.6m).

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