Srinivasan: I've done nothing wrong

Hampshire Chronicle: There is a new man at the top of the ICC There is a new man at the top of the ICC

Narayanaswami Srinivasan marked his controversial ascent to the chairmanship of the International Cricket Council by protesting his innocence of any wrongdoing in the ongoing corruption case in India.

Srinivasan stood aside as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India earlier this year having been compelled to do so by the country's Supreme Court during their match-fixing investigation into the Indian Premier League.

But on Thursday, having already been nominated as the global governing body's first all-powerful chairman at an executive board meeting in February, he was unanimously voted into the role by the 52-member full council at the ICC annual conference.

His so-called 'big three' counterparts - Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards and England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke - will lead the newly-formed executive committee and the financial and commercial affairs committee, respectively.

Plans to reorganise the distribution of ICC profits, which promise greater overall income but also a greater proportion of funds diluted into the coffers of India, Australia and England, will now go ahead.

Critics, who are thick on the ground, have characterised the constitutional shift as a self-interested power grab by the three boards, but it is Srinivasan's elevation to the top job that has proved the real lightning rod for indignation.

As the owner of Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings, he has been investigated as part of a spot-fixing inquiry that has already laid charges against Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan.

Srinivasan attempted to use the occasion of his appointment as a chance to lay out an agenda for inclusivity and growth in the world game, but ended up making a staunch personal defence of his own character.

"The (Supreme Court) committee made a report which did not involve me, but they had been given a sealed envelope in which they said there were some unsubstantiated, unverified allegations made by some people, which the Court is looking into. I said I'll voluntarily step aside (as BCCI president) during that period.

"Now, as far as I'm concerned, I have done nothing wrong. There is no wrongdoing on my part and therefore my conscience is very clear that there is no taint on me.

"My son-in-law, there are some charges against him. He has to defend himself in court.

"It's a question of it's going to be proved or not proved, but that's up to him.

"I think you have to wait until everything is clear at the end of the day. If nothing is proved, I think all this comment would have been unfair."

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel heralded Srinivasan's appointment and lauded him as the ideal candidate to take charge for the two-year period up to 2016.

''As India takes the leadership position in world cricket, the responsibility of guiding the game in these challenging times could not have found a better leader than Mr. Srinivasan," said Patel.

The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, which took a hard-line stance to the proposals when they emerged in February, were not available to comment.

Following the conference, which also saw Bangladesh's Mustafa Kamal named ICC president, the Pakistan Cricket Board claimed to have secured significant gains behind the scenes.

A PCB statement revealed it had been awarded the fourth largest share of ICC revenue after the big three - a move sure to be met with incredulity by Cricket South Africa - as well as finalising the details of six bilateral series in eight years with India.

PCB chairman Najam Sethi, who led negotiations, said: "The PCB had organised itself and planned to get maximum advantage for Pakistan cricket from an extremely precarious position.

"We have accomplished all our objectives. And I am positive that in the times to come Pakistan cricket shall greatly benefit from what PCB has been able to obtain for it today."

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