Courtesy: Daily Telegraph Australia
By Malcolm Conn
Cricket's most dangerous man, India board president N. Srinivasan, has continued his destruction of the game's credibility by having Australian Tim May dumped from the International Cricket Councils influential cricket committee.
Using blatant standover tactics, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) threatened countries to ensure the majority of Test captains voted against May, a constant critic of the BCCI in his role as chief executive of FICA - the international players union.
Some captains were threatened with the sack by their boards if they did not vote for Indian commentator and former leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan ahead of May, the former Australian off-spinner.
This is despite captains supposedly having independent and confidential votes to elect two player representatives on the committee. The other is former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara.
Support for May evaporated from nine of the 10 Test captains to just four, Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa, as India threatened to withhold tours and other favours which would cost countries millions in television rights.
Only South Africa stood firm amongst the dominant Afro-Asia block, which also destroyed the ICC's presidential electoral system when it refused to endorse former Prime Minister John Howard as president in 2010 for fear of being brought to account.
Srinivasan also unilaterally scuttled a major review last year, the Woolf report, which attempted to revamp the ICC's disgraceful governance.
India may be the world's largest democracy but the BCCI rules with a golden fist, rejecting any notion of good governance and free speech.
Any Indian commentator who dares speak out against the BCCI will inevitably be sacked so expect Siva, as he is known, to meekly support the BCCI's unfathomable stand against the umpire decision review system (DRS).
FICA boss May reflected vast international player support for improved governance and the DRS, which has significantly improved the number of correct umpiring decisions.
May has the overwhelming backing of players from most countries, which have player associations, but continuing its anti-democratic stance, the BCCI has banned a players' association.
May never stood a chance against cricket's dark forces.
India refuses to use the DRS. The ICC made it compulsory, before back-flipping under pressure from the BCCI.
The arrogant and dictatorial Srinivasan is the greatest example of all that is wrong with cricket, particularly on the sub-continent and in Africa.
India's FBI, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is pursuing allegations of fraud committed by Srinivasan as managing director of India Cements, which is alleged to have rorted scarce water resources with corrupt state officials to double production and profits.
He is also at the centre of allegations of tax fraud by failing to pay stamp duty on 11 luxury vehicles that were seized by the CBI in March.
Srinivasan has the greatest conflict of interest in world cricket, with his India Cements buying the Chennai Super Kings IPL franchise for $91 million.
The BCCI wholly owns the billion dollar IPL, so as president of the BCCI Srinivasan has the most influence over the game's biggest Twenty20 competition and therefore the value of his franchise.
With India ranking a lowly 94 on the Transparent International corruption index, along with South Africa (69), Sri Lanka (79), Pakistan (139), Bangladesh (144) and Zimbabwe (163), is it any wonder the game's governance is in such bad shape?
New Zealand is ranked third, Australia seventh and the UK 17th.