Asia and African boards combine to force Speed out of job

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Lahore, Apr 28 (UNI) Blaming the ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed for his ''biased'' attitude against the six national boards, the Asian bloc along with South Africa and Zimbabwe Cricket Board combined to force him out of job permanently.

On April 25, the cricket's world governing body announced that Speed was to go on paid leave for the final two months of his contract following a ''fundamental breakdown'' between him and several board members, including the current ICC president, South Africa's Ray Mali, over the controversial issue of Zimbabwe.

''Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ganged up with its Asian counterparts in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka --apart from the South Africans and Zimbabweans to force Speed out,'' Sources in the PCB revealed.

''The six boards felt Speed's attitude was biased against them on certain issues, particularly over the financial report on the activities of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU).'' ''The decision to send Speed on forced leave was taken during the recent opening of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mumbai,'' a source said.

He said Speed was told that as chief executive he must be clear at the media briefing that the ZCU audit report had revealed no financial irregularities but he refused to do this in violation of all norms creating an impression that some members were trying to protect the ZCU.

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