Mani said there was some kind of “politics introduced” by BCCI, Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in the ICC.
The ICC chairman’s post has been lying vacant since July after the departure of Indian Shashank Manohar. The ICC Board is yet to take a decision on whether the process to choose the new chairman should be based on a two-thirds majority vote or a simple majority.
Imran Khwaja is presently serving as the interim chairman. “It’s unfortunate it has taken so long. The politics introduced by Australia, England and India in 2014 to protect their positions – now they are struggling to unwind it because it doesn’t suit them anymore,” Mani was quoted as saying by the Forbes magazine.
“It would be healthier to have someone (the chairperson) not from the ‘big three’.”
Mani, who served as the ICC chairman from 2003-06, however, quashed speculation that he is interested in the top job. “I was never interested. A few of the directors asked me but I told them that I’m there to only serve Pakistan. I’ve done it all before.”
Colin Graves, whose term as ECB chairman ended on August 31, has been touted as a candidate, as has BCCI president Sourav Ganguly. The names of New Zealand Cricket chairman Greg Barclay and former Cricket West Indies head Dave Cameron are also doing rounds.
“There is a huge problem of conflict of interest on the board,” Mani said. “I’ve never seen that before, not in 17 years. This sort of conflict of interest is not transparent. The ICC is crying out for more independent directors.”
Mani backed Graves’ recent statement that ICC’s financial model in which the BCCI and ECB (USD 139 million) get more than the other boards needs to be reworked.
“It’s not only the funding model that is wrong and skewered to India and also to some degree England. They allocated ICC events to themselves, gave themselves generous hosting fees and the benefits from gate money and hospitality.
“In 2019 (World Cup, hosts) England would have made what Pakistan, West Indies or South Africa do over an eight-year period. That’s what’s wrong with the system. There are some countries who won’t be able to survive if this funding model continues.”
Mani said Pakistan survived without playing India. “Can you imagine if that happened to Cricket Australia if India didn’t come?” he asked.
The PCB chief hoped Pakistan could host a World Cup in ICC’s next FTP cycle for 2023-31. “We want to host a World Cup during this cycle,” Mani said. “There are three-four events we have expressed interest, including some to host jointly with the UAE.”
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