Dispute over voting for key ICC committee role

Johannesburg: The head of South Africa`s players` union alleges that Indian interests have forced a re-vote for the position of players` representative on the International Cricket Council cricket committee, threatening to prevent the election of Tim May, who had near unanimous support among other nations.

Tony Irish, who is also on the Federation of International Cricketers` Associations, said initial voting for the post by the ten test captains had overwhelmingly chosen Australian May, who has been a long-term senior players` advocate.

However a re-vote was called and after lobbying by Indian interests, Irish claimed the voting was now 5-5 or perhaps even 6-4 in favor of India`s preferred candidate Laxman Sivaramakrishnan.

Irish claims some of the smaller test nations were "pressured" into changing their vote and FICA would lodge a written protest with the ICC about the intervention.

"It`s a sad day for the governance of cricket when players aren`t allowed to freely elect their representatives," Irish said.

The forcing of the re-vote was indicative of the burgeoning commercial and political power of India within world cricket.

"Cricket is a global game and the decisions that are made should be global decisions for the benefit of the global game, not for the benefit of one country, whichever country that is," Irish said.

If the voting is locked at 5-5, the ICC will have the casting vote. The ICC cricket committee has influence upon the rules and conduct of the game itself, including the video review system, to which India is opposed.