ICC to remove Gavaskar as chairman of cricket committee

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London, Mar 25 (UNI) Speaking out against alleged discrimination againt India during their recent tour Down Under cost Sunil Gavaskar dear as the legendary batsman is all set to be removed from his post as chairman of the ICC's cricket committee.

According to a report in The Times, in an unanimous vote at the ICC executive committee meeting in Dubai last week, it was decided that Gavaskar should be asked to resign because of a conflict of interest between his honorary ICC position and his paid role as a columnist and commentator.

The 58-year-old former India captain has been called to meet International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed at the governing body's Dubai headquarters to account for his controversial media columns.

The ICC is incensed with Gavaskar's comments in his syndicated column where the legendary batsman described England and Australia as ''dinosaurs'' who cannot ''open their eyes and see the reality.'' ''Gone are the days when two countries, England and Australia, had the veto power in international cricket, even though the dinosaurs may not open their eyes and see the reality,'' Gavaskar had written in his coloumn. ''The cricketing world has found that India has no longer a diffident voice but a confident one that knows what is good for its cricket, and will strive to get it.'' Gavaskar had also criticised white South African match referee Mike Procter during the controversial Sydney Test claiming, he was biased against Indian players because of their skin colour.

Proctor had slapped a ban on Harbhajan Singh after the Indian off-spinner got involved in a fracas with Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

The ruling was subsequently overruled by the appeals commissioner.

''What may have worried these people was the manner in which India defended Harbhajan Singh,'' Gavaskar wrote. ''When all the technology in the world was unable to prove that he had indeed said anything, these guys, especially those in Australia, were unable to stomach it.

''Those worried of the prospect of India's hegemony were conveniently forgetting that only a few years back there were two Australians at the top of the ICC. It is a misplaced belief that they are the only ones with honesty, integrity and have the welfare of the game at heart, while the 'sub-continentals' do not.'' However, a source close to the situation said ''Gavaskar is a cricket legend, but it was felt that his as ICC cricket committee chairman was in direct conflict to his role as a journalist and commentator.

''ICC has not taken a decision in this regard. It is Gavaskar who has to decide now which role he is comfortable with. It's completely up to him.'' UNI XC AB RKM HS1636

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