CA regrets over premature end to Speed's tenure

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Melbourne, Apr 29 (UNI) Expressing his regret over the premature end to Malcolm Speed's tenure as chief executive of the ICC, Cricket Australia (CA) called on the sport's bodies to ensure that they put the best interests ahead of sectional interests.

Speed was placed on paid leave by the ICC on last Friday after falling out with several board members including the current ICC president Ray Mali of South Africa, over the thorny issue of Zimbabwe.

''I note with regret that Malcolm Speed's distinguished career as an international cricket administrator has ended in the manner in which it has,'' CA chief Creagh O'Connor said in a statement.

Praising Speed for his illustrious career as an administrator, O'Connor said his services would be missed.

''I know first-hand of the dispassionate, professional and diligent manner in which he has sought for cricket to achieve high standards of administrative excellence,'' he said.

O'Connor, however, said the ICC had a difficult job managing the global game but its primary focus should be on the sport.

''As many have noted in the last few days, administering the ICC, which features a diverse global constituency, is a challenging task,'' he added.

''Cricket is becoming a genuinely global sport and will only have a long-term, sustainable future if the diverse interests within the game can put the game's interests ahead of any other interests.'' UNI XC RKM RAR RK1736

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