Melbourne: The furore over Laxman Sivaramakrishnan`s appointment as a players representative in the ICC refuses to settle with the Federation of International Cricketers` Associations (FICA) now referring the matter to the ICC Ethics Officer for an independent investigation.
"FICA has tried all we can to get the ICC to refer this matter to the Ethics Officer themselves, however after more than six weeks of no action we are left with no choice but to refer the matter ourselves," said FICA Executive Chairman Paul Marsh.
"We have evidence of Captains being pressured by their Boards into changing their votes away from the incumbent player representative on the Committee Tim May, in favour of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and we will present this to the Ethics Officer. The evidence is strong and we expect it to be acted upon," he added.
The decision to refer the controversial captains` vote to the ICC Ethics Officer was taken at a FICA Board meeting in London last week.
"It is extremely concerning and disappointing that the governing body of our sport has refused to follow its own processes for dealing with allegations of unethical behaviour," Marsh said.
Sivaramakrishnan, backed by the BCCI, beat May for the job resulting in a controversy as reports emerged that captains had overwhelmingly voted for May in the initial election before a re-poll was conducted to ensure the Indian`s appointment.
"Sadly this is yet another example of the poor governance practices that exist in cricket. The ICC should be taking these allegations incredibly seriously but instead they are ignoring the processes under their own code and hoping the matter will go away," Marsh stated.
The FICA Executive also met with teams and players during the week and came up with a `Statement of Unity`.
"The lack of respect shown to FICA and the players throughout this issue, coupled with general concerns about the Governance of the sport, prompted the unprecedented step of FICA and the players drafting a `Statement of Unity` that has been signed by all players from the six FICA countries (Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies) that participated in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy," the FICA stated.
In the statement, the players have said that, "We support FICA as the voice of professional cricketers everywhere and expect it to receive due recognition and respect by the ICC and our respective Boards as it plays its role in representing our interests.
"We further expect cricket`s administrators to ensure our great game is managed off the field to the same high standards of dignity and integrity as those to which we are committed."
A copy of the statement has been sent to the ICC.