In these three months, Khwaja has gone from a provisional occupant of the chair to an “ambitious one”, even as the rest of the chair. Cricket The world (read: full member of the ICC) tries and scratches the head of a 64-year-old Singaporean man to find his rise.
It is during these three months that the ICC continued to postpone the meetings (after the board) and refused to call on the election process before sending a statement on 12 September that on 18 September (six days later) The deadline for was “nomination of potential candidates to be made by current board directors.”
Shockingly, while the ICC gave less than a week to file nominations, the election itself – the governing body said – would be held in early December.
While the cricket fraternity keeps it wrapped around its head and wonders what the ICC has done, there is another story of the complexities of playing outside.
The ICC had mentioned on its website – until 12 September 2020 – that Khwaja was a representative of the Singapore Cricket Association (SCA). On the same day, SCA – said in an interview with TOI – “Khwaja has had no contact with SCA since 2016 and therefore had no support to represent Singapore as Associate Member Director at the ICC”.
The TOI made the same report on 13 September, following which the ICC removed “Singapore Cricket Association” from the name of Khwaja on the website. Furthermore, in an official communication, the ICC emphasized that “the Associate Member Representative may be a former or a current director”, in an effort to suggest that Khwaja may remain in the ICC regardless of SCA’s candidacy.
On 15 September, TOI asked ICC CEO Manu Sahni and the organization’s communications head Claire Furlong to answer these specific questions: A) Where is it mentioned in the ICC Constitution that the vice president can be independent? (Please share the exact clause from the Constitution); B) Where is the mention in the ICC Constitution that an Associate Member Representative can be a former or current director? (Please share the exact clause / article from the constitution).
It is 33 days and counting and there is no response from ICC yet.
TOI also asked the ICC why the governing body made changes to its website within 48 hours of the September 13 story on Khwaja and the ‘Singapore Cricket Association’ next to Khwaja’s name on a website page listing the board’s structure. Why was removed. Screenshots of the same were also shared with Sahni’s office. It has been over a month and there has been no response yet (see screenshot).
The ICC states that “to be an Associate Member Director, a person must be an Associate Member or a representative of the current or former Director of the ICC”. However, it refuses to share the exact clause in the constitution citing the same.
This lack of clarity persists even as Khwaja tries to work his way into the chair, which will determine the fate of global cricket over the next few years, even protecting the game itself from the raging epidemic tries to.
He said, ‘It is very well to advocate that the representatives of lesser-known countries (in the cricket circuit) be elevated to positions of power so that there is a balance in administration. But to do this is not healthy at all without a lack of clarity on a certain person in the first place. Khwaja is busy pondering how he can raise his hand for the post of ICC Chairperson. However, the same ICC should not explain how Khwaja was elected as an associate member representative. “Says a board member.
TOI sent emailed reminders to ICC reminders in the last one month to answer questions and received no response.
There are those who strongly believe that if the global administration of cricket does not keep its priorities in order, the after-effects of the pandemic can exacerbate the worst of things for the sports economy. “For once, politics needs to be kept separate in the larger interest of the game,” observers say.