ICC's Speed told to end reign early
International Cricket Council sends CEO on leave until the end of his contract.
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2008 06:36 GMT

Chief executive Malcolm Speed will not be in the ICC boardroom for the rest of his contract [GALLO/GETTY]

Malcolm Speed, outgoing chief executive, has been asked by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to go on leave as of next week following major differences at the top of the organisation.
"The ICC President, Ray Mali, and the CEO Speed have agreed that Malcolm Speed will be on paid leave from April 30 until the end of his contract term on July 4 2008," David Morgan, ICC president-elect said in a statement.
"This change of plan is the result of a fundamental breakdown in the relationship between the CEO and a number of (ICC) board members, including the president, over a variety of issues that include Zimbabwe."

South Africa's David Richardson, the ICC general manager for cricket, will hold the post until his compatriot Haroon Lorgat takes over the job at the ICC annual conference in early July.

"This change of plan is the result of a fundamental breakdown in the relationship between the CEO and a number of (ICC) board members... "

ICC statement
Asking Australian Speed to depart ahead of schedule is the latest crisis to hit the ICC, indicating serious divisions among its member boards.

The affairs of the troubled Zimbabwe board has been one of them.

The national team has been out of Test cricket since January 2006 after the side were depleted in the wake of a series of disagreements between players and the administration.

Last month, an independent audit found serious financial irregularities in the Zimbabwe board accounts but the ICC did not call for any sanctions, instead deciding there was no evidence of criminality and no individuals had gained financially.

A media report on Friday suggested the ICC's annual conference in late June, traditionally held at Lord's, London, could be moved to its headquarters in Dubai due to visa problems for Peter Chingoka, Zimbabwe board chief.

An ICC spokesman told Reuters no official decision had been made on shifting the venue.

The ICC top management have also been divided over other issues, including the controversy over Australian umpire Darrell Hair, who was sacked as an elite panel umpire in November 2006 but reinstated last month.

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