x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Zimbabwe spelt end for Speed

Malcolm Speed has revealed a fall-out over the Dubai-based International Cricket Council's stance on Zimbabwe led to his departure as the organisation's chief executive.

SYDNEY // Malcolm Speed has revealed a fall-out over the Dubai-based International Cricket Council's stance on Zimbabwe led to his departure as the organisation's chief executive. Speed said he was opposed to the ICC's inactivity over the troubled nation and was effectively forced out following a row with then president Ray Mali. He said: "Ray Mali and I had an angry and bitter exchange in October 2007 over the ICC's policy in relation to Zimbabwe.

"This caused our previously friendly relationship to break down irretrievably. "In March 2008, the ICC board reviewed the KPMG forensic report into the finances of Zimbabwe Cricket. The report showed that there had been irregularities in the finances of ZC. "The ICC board resolved to take no further action on the basis that the KPMG report did not prove that any individual within ZC had profited. "Sir John Anderson, the New Zealand Cricket chairman, and I had vigorously opposed this decision at the board meeting.

"As a director of ICC, I was bound by the decision." Speed decided not to attend a press conference where the ICC's decision would be announced. And he revealed: "Six weeks later, in April 2008, after an informal gathering of directors in Bangalore for the launch of the Indian Premier League, I was requested to go on 'gardening leave' for the last eight weeks of my contract as a result of 'fundamental disagreement with the ICC president and other board members over issues that included Zimbabwe'."

The ICC have faced repeated criticism over their failure to act against Zimbabwe Cricket, who have links with the ruling Zanu-PF party. * PA Sport