Melbourne, June 26: After taking charge as ICC's Chairman, N Srinivasan defended himself saying there was not taint on him as far as IPL spot-fixing scandal was concerned and it was up to his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan to fight the corruption charges in court.
On Thursday, Srinivasan became the first ever Chairman of the revamped ICC, which has given more powers to three Boards - BCCI, Cricket Australia (CA) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Interacting with the media after confirmation as Chairman, Srinivasan said he stepped aside from BCCI President's position voluntarily.
Here are the excerpts from the media interaction
On being chosen as ICC Chairman
N Srinivasan: First of all, it's a great honour for me to have been elected as the first Chairman of the ICC, at a time when the ICC also has restructured itself to become more viable and offer better financial stability to Full Members as well as Associates, concentrate on meritocracy, afford Associate Members a chance to start playing Test cricket with Full Members, and also to emphasize development of cricket among the Associates and Affiliates. And also this new structure provides a fund for supporting Test cricket, and it also has a guaranteed FTP, which will ensure better quality cricket, competitive cricket, and offer all Members a chance to play everybody else.
I look forward to this assignment. I think there may be other challenges, but this is - I think we will witness a period when overall, all aspects of cricket will improve. I'm very happy to take any questions.
When did the process start to become Chairman?
Srinivasan: I never thought of becoming the Chairman, actually. It started out with - we had a working group to start looking at the next rights cycle of the ICC from 2015 to 2023, and we started to look at what kind of models, financial models, we should be having, and from there we went to say, why only look at a financial model; is ICC in its present form all right? Should we have a slightly different governance model? Should we not give a better opportunity for the Associates and Affiliates?
So this is how the whole concept discussions widened, and at the end of the day we said that one should take responsibility for leadership in cricket, and that is England, Australia, ourselves and others. So it's evolved over ‑‑ I think we discussed this for at least a year, and it is over that period that this evolved. It was not that we started out with this. We landed with this, ended up with this.
On being suspended by Supreme Court from BCCI President's position
Srinivasan: Actually the (Supreme) Court did not ask me, I stepped aside voluntarily. I do not know if you have followed the reporting of that. The Committee made a report which did not involve me, but they had 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 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, and whatever investigation is there will take its course will come out, reports will come out. But unless I have in my mind any doubt or if I have done anything, then what you say possibly is, then one has to think. But for what I have not done, I have no concern.
When you say there is no taint on me, does that include your son-in-law?
Srinivasan: My son-in-law, there are some charges against him. He has to defend himself in court. I mean, it's a question of it's going to be proved or not proved, but that's up to him. This is a question - this is a question about me.
But it reflects on you. It's your team
Srinivasan: I think you have to wait until the final - until everything is clear at the end of the day. If nothing is proved, I think all this comment would have been unfair, isn't it.
On combating corruption in cricket
Srinivasan: The ICC has been taking very strong steps. They have an Anti‑Corruption and Security Unit which has done extremely good work. They don't publicise what they do, but I think - and I'll ask David (Richardson) to say a few words on it because it works directly under him and I'm stepping up to the plate now, but I'd really like you to say a few words on it because I think they've done extensive work. But cricket has been played worldwide in a number of geographies, a number of jurisdictions, and it's being played simultaneously in many of these places, so it's an arduous task, and I think they're doing quite well.
Will you act in the best interests of the game globally?
Srinivasan: See, cricket is a very old game. It has evolved over time, from Test cricket to ODI cricket to T20 cricket. I think one of the issues that is facing cricket is whether - we are seeing in many countries, in many geographies, we are not seeing the kind of attendance at grounds that we are used to in the past. Some forms of cricket are more popular, and I think you'll see more attention, spectator attention.
Having said that, I think the most important thing that we must be looking at now is how to make cricket more interesting by making it more competitive, and this is where you will find in this new structure, there is a lot of emphasis on meritocracy. The glass ceiling has been broken. The Associates and Affiliates, the up‑and‑coming teams, they can come up, play the longer version, and I think with this, and as the public sees there is greater competition, I think cricket will also improve, and I think that is something that we will drive.
You message to India as ICC Chairman
Srinivasan: I think the most important thing that I'd like to say is that I'm humbled by this opportunity to be a leader in this great organisation, which has done so much for cricket.