Kamal quits ICC in wake of World Cup controversy

Mustafa Kamal with the World Cup trophy he was prevented from presenting. Picture: AFP
Mustafa Kamal with the World Cup trophy he was prevented from presenting. Picture: AFP
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Mustafa Kamal resigned as International Cricket Council president yesterday, still accusing India of influencing the outcome of the World Cup quarter-final win against Bangladesh.

“Everyone saw what happened during the Bangladesh-India match… India has influenced the outcome of the match using its position [in the ICC],” Kamal, a Bangladeshi, said at Shahjalal International Airport on his return from the tournament in Australia.

“From now on, I am a former president of the ICC. I would have reacted similarly had it happened to any other country.”

The ICC later confirmed in a statement that Kamal “tendered his resignation… with immediate effect”.

The governing body said Kamal, who succeeded Alan Isaac in June last year, resigned on personal grounds, offered his apologies to all associated with the ICC, and “he had no complaints to make against anyone”.

The ICC went on to reveal an extract from Kamal’s resignation letter, which read: “Let the game of cricket under the leadership of ICC touch the hearts and minds of every cricket lover.”

The amicable passage is in stark contrast to quotes attributed to Kamal earlier yesterday when he reportedly accused the ICC of acting “unconstitutionally’’ and “unlawfully’’.

“The main reason for my resignation is that I can’t work with those who can act unconstitutionally and unlawfully,” he is quoted as saying.

Kamal’s resignation brings to an end a turbulent few days for the Bangladeshi politician after he threatened to reveal details of “mischievous things” he claimed are taking place at the ICC.

A former president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board and now a government minister, Kamal pitched himself into controversy less than two weeks ago when he criticised the umpires in the World Cup quarter-final, which Bangladesh lost by 109 runs, and questioned their partiality over a disputed no-ball against India batsman Rohit Sharma.

Kamal suggested afterwards that the I in ICC stood in effect for India rather than International. The 67-year-old said he spoke as a fan, and not the president, but ICC chief executive Dave Richardson termed the criticism as “unfortunate”, and said the umpires were beyond question.

Kamal said the ICC asked him to either withdraw his statement or apologise for his outburst, otherwise he would be denied the duty of handing the World Cup trophy to the winning captain at the final. “I told them during the meeting that I did not speak against any particular person or a country. Why should I apologise?” Kamal said. “I am the president of the ICC, to whom would I seek apology?”

ICC chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan, of India, passed over the trophy to captain Michael Clarke after Australia defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in Sunday’s final. ICC protocol dictates that Kamal should have undertaken this duty.

The ICC said the vacant ceremonial position of president will be discussed during a board meeting in Dubai on 15-16 April.