“You won’t give it back. I will.”

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Supraj Iruvanti, MBA 2014-16, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


 

The Guardian newspaper, on April 2, 2015 ran a story “ICC president Mustafa Kamal resigns with scathing attack on ‘ugly people’”. This resignation was expected after events over the preceding one week which saw no shortage of emotions and ego. It began with then-International Cricket Council(ICC) president Mustafa Kamal, who is also the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board(BCB), questioning the quality of umpiring after a questionable no-ball decision gave a reprieve to Indian batsman Rohit Sharma during his match-winning innings against Bangladesh in the quarterfinals. He also hinted at a suspicion of an agenda favouring one team over another. While such claims from the mainstream media would be enough to raise eyebrows, that it came from the head(albeit nominal) of the organization that employed the match officials whose integrity and quality was called into question was outrageous. As president, he is supposed to protect the officials, not hang them to dry in public! The least he could have done was chosen to remain silent. He subsequently compounded his mistake by choosing not to apologize, and instead defending his words. That was a series of PR disasters the ICC could have done without.

That was only half the controversy, though. His words didn’t please N Srinivasan, a man who, notwithstanding his own very chequered past, managed to make himself the most powerful man in world cricket by hook or by crook, having a post of ICC Chairman created and appointing himself to it. He convinced the board(or perhaps decided by himself and communicated the same to the board) that Mr Kamal’s actions were enough for him to be deprived of the privilege of presenting the trophy to the World Cup winner after the final, despite the constitution stating that the ICC president is the one who hands over the trophy to the winning captain, and there being no clause preventing him from doing so. Therefore, the decision to deprive him of the privilege was unconstitutional. Eventually, it was Mr. Srinivasan who presented the trophy himself.

I don’t see a victim in this controversy. It is just a question of determining the lesser of two evils. While most would agree with his assessment of Mr. Srinivasan and the working of the ICC, I am not convinced Mr. Kamal was doing his duties as ICC president well enough so as to justify all the sympathy he should ideally get because of being denied his privilege of handing over the trophy to the winning captain. Mr. Srinivasan, on the other hand, seems to have grabbed the opportunity to yet again put himself in the limelight. As they say, all publicity is good publicity. It is only the image of the gentleman’s game that has suffered as a result. No big deal, it seems, as long as the gentleman(?) who run the game have things their way.

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