Cricket was thrown into further turmoil on the eve of one of its most important tournaments. The resignation of Tim May, the voice of cricketers worldwide for the last eight years, brought into stark relief the mess that the game finds itself in as the Champions Trophy begins tomorrow.
Stepping down as chief executive of Fica, the umbrella body for players' unions, he said: "Cricket increasingly seems to be pushing aside the principles of transparency, accountability, independence, and upholding the best interests of the global game, in favour of a system that appears to operate through threats, intimidation and backroom deals."
May, the former Australia off spinner, probably decided enough was enough a month ago when his place as a players' representative on the ICC's cricket committee was usurped at the last moment after he had already been elected.
Since then the game has been rocked by spot-fixing scandals in its most lucrative competition, the Indian Premier League, and in the Bangladesh Premier League. The ICC seems powerless to cope.
May's departure will not have any effect on the ICC or the way that the Board of Control for Cricket in India truly calls all the big shots. But it was accompanied by a warning from Angus Porter, the chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association which represents all the players in this country.
Porter said: "I think there are many good things about the game and its quality. We're about to go into a fantastic competition but I think we are at a real crossroads. If we want the game to kick on and thrive for the next 100 years, as it has for the last, it needs proper governance."
The ICC has steadfastly declined to act on the recommendations of the Woolf Report which it commissioned last year. Lord Woolf had suggested an overhaul of the ICC to reflect its global status rather than "reacting as a members' club". The report was quietly ignored after the BCCI took against it, though Porter called it "the best game in town".
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