Ousted May calls for an end to 'stand-over tactics'

Not happy: Former Australian Test cricketer Tim May has hit out at the game's governing body. Photo: Robert Cianflone/ALLSPORT
Not happy: Former Australian Test cricketer Tim May has hit out at the game's governing body. Photo: Robert Cianflone/ALLSPORT

Tim May, ousted from an ICC committee following allegations of pressure from India, says it's time someone "stood up to the cancer of stand-over tactics" that defines the governing body.

May, cricket's most prominent player advocate, was replaced on the ICC cricket committee by Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, the former India leg-spinner who is employed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India as a commentator.

The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, of which May is chief executive, has called on the ICC to investigate allegations that the boards of five countries exerted direct pressure on their captains to switch their votes from May to Sivaramakrishnan when choosing their preferred player representatives.

May wouldn't comment on the specifics of his non-election as he has a vested interest, but pointed to the ICC's chronic failure to enforce its own standards of governance.

"The only thing that I can say and reinforce, is that this issue isn't about [from my perspective anyway] whether Siva or I got elected or not, but it's about was the process compromised?" the former Australian off-spinner said in an email to Fairfax Media. "Did boards interfere and make threats to captains to change their votes – which leads to the crux of the matter – that we [FICA] on behalf of all players need to ensure that the players' representative is actually the representative chosen freely by players, not one forced upon the players by boards.

"We want ICC to take notice and police their own processes, and not just turn their back on stuff that they are fully aware of.

"It's time someone stood up to this cancer of stand-over tactics that defines the ICC these days."

May, a champion of players' interests for 15 years, has challenged all boards, not just India, on issues ranging from self-interested scheduling to the Woolf report, which tried to revamp ICC governance but was rejected by India.

The cricket committee makes recommendations on issues including the Decision Review System. May has pushed for the system to be used in all series, but the BCCI's opposition means it is not used in contests involving India.

May has said that while he supports some aspects of the BCCI, "there are other aspects that concern me and others".

FICA will discuss its response to the voting scandal at its annual meeting in the US the week after next.

Paul Marsh, chief of the Australian Cricketers' Association, described India as a monopoly, and said all boards were equally guilty because of their reluctance to stand up to the BCCI for fear of putting TV money at risk.

"There has to be a tipping point," Marsh said. "The reality is the boards can't see past the next India tour that might in jeopardy because they say something.

"There are constant threats of that sort of stuff.

"I'm not saying it's easy. You take that [the money generated from India tours] out and potentially a lot of our boards are going to go broke. But the alternative is doing nothing, that's what's happening here at the moment, and we've got this monopoly, a dictatorship that gets stronger and stronger. What is the game going to look like then?"

The ICC is yet to comment on the matter.

This story Ousted May calls for an end to 'stand-over tactics' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.