Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, an Indian national, has been voted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to be the new player representative. The vote, which generated a lot of controversy, will see Sivaramakrishnan serve as one of two player representatives alongside Kumar Sangakkara from Sri Lanka, and was taken from a pool of ten international cricket test captains.
The nomination of Sivaramakrishnan saw him replace Australia’s Tim May and aimed to showcase India’s growing influence on international cricket.
The Federation of International Cricketers Association has called on the ICC to launch an investigation into the nomination of Siva over Australia’s May, hinting that captains may have been forced to vote against him. May serves as CEO of the Federation of International Cricketers Association which is pushing for an ethics committee inquiry.
The FICA alleges that a re-vote was called after May won 9-1 against Sivaramakrishnan, and captains for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Pakistan were pressured into giving Siva their vote.
Legal adviser for FICA, Ian Smith was quoted as saying: “In light of media reports that five ICC full member boards applied direct pressure on their captains to amend their votes in the recent elections, FICA`s official stance is that these allegations must warrant careful and independent scrutiny.”
Siva responded to the criticism by side-stepping accusations of pressure placed on test captains and pointing out, instead, his over 30 years of experience in the world of cricket – first as a cricketer and later as a commentator.
“I am sure there are a lot of cricket-related matters that are going to be discussed,” said the new ICC player representative. “And I think I have been around for a long time. I’ve been associated with the game for around 33 years and I have a lot of contribution to make.”
Cricket is a hugely popular sport in India and generates millions in wagering revenue by fans of the game.