ICC accept resignation of Mustafa Kamal as president

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Kamal walks away from the ICC with immediate effect.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed that Mustafa Kamal has tendered his resignation as the ICC President with immediate effect.

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In his resignation letter to the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, Kamal said he was stepping down on personal grounds and offered his apologies to all associated with the ICC, adding that he had no complaints to make against anyone.

“Let the game of cricket under the leadership of ICC touch the hearts and minds of every cricket lover,” he wrote in his letter.

The ICC Board will now consider the vacant position of the ICC President at its forthcoming meeting in Dubai on 15 and 16 April.

Kamal was vocal against poor umpiring standards in Bangladesh’s defeat at the hands of India in World Cup quarter-finals and felt that Bangladesh were forced out of the competition. 

In addition, Kamal also felt distraught for not being allowed to hand over the World Cup trophy to worthy champions Australia.

Instead it was ICC Chairman N Srinavasan who handed over the trophy while Kamal claimed that it was his right according to the ICC constitution.

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ICC president Mustafa Kamal quits over World Cup trophy snub

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Cricket Council Controversy: Mustafa Kamal.

Mustafa Kamal resigned as president of the International Cricket Council on Wednesday, saying he had been prevented from presenting the World Cup trophy after claiming one of the matches was fixed.

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Kamal, a Bangladeshi national, told reporters he had been ordered to apologise for the incendiary claim that his country’s World Cup quarter-final defeat to India was “pre-arranged”.

He said after the match last month that there was “no quality in the umpiring”, casting a shadow over an otherwise successful tournament and earning a sharp rebuke from ICC chief executive David Richardson.

He later complained that he had been deprived of his “right” as ICC president to present the trophy to the winners, Australia.

Instead that honour went to India’s Narayanaswami Srinivasan, who took over as ICC chairman last year and who was booed at the ceremony. 

“I resign right at this moment. I am no longer ICC president,” Kamal told reporters at the airport in Dhaka, where he arrived from Singapore on Wednesday.

“The main reason for my resignation is that I can’t work with those who can act unconstitutionally and unlawfully.”

An ICC spokesman told AFP by phone the world body had “not received any information” about Kamal’s resignation, refusing to comment further.

A spokesman for Kamal said he had sent a resignation letter to Richardson.

Kamal’s position has been largely ceremonial since Srinivasan took office as ICC chairman last year.

On Wednesday, Kamal launched an extraordinary attack on the Indian national, calling him “rotten” and “controversial” and suggesting the ICC could stand for “Indian Cricket Council”.

“I feel bad even to mention his name,” he said. “If that man is in charge of cricket, how will cricket run?”

Kamal, who is a government minister in Bangladesh, had earlier threatened to quit over the umpiring of the quarter final.

He said he had been told he would only be allowed to present the trophy if we withdrew his claim of bias.

“I will not withdraw the statement because it was the sentiment of 160 million people,” he said, referring to the population of Bangladesh.

“Then they told me, if you can’t submit an apology or withdraw the statement, you can’t present the trophy,” Kamal said.

Last month’s match was the first time Bangladesh had reached the World Cup quarter-finals and emotions in the cricket-mad country ran high after their 109-run defeat by India.

Fans openly wept and an effigy of umpire Aleem Dar, who is from rival nation Pakistan, was burnt in the street.

Kamal said he had told ICC bosses it would be “unconstitutional” to allow anyone else to hand over the trophy.

“In that match, I had the right to give the trophy to the champions,” he said.

“Only the ICC president has the right to present the trophy in ICC world events.”

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Daniel Vettori: The underrated giant

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Vettori's 300 wickets in 442 international Test and ODI matches make him a Black Cap legend.

After New Zealand lost the World Cup final to Australia, captain Brendon McCullum said that his team will not make any retirement announcements for at least a couple of days in order to allow the Australians to bask in the glory of their success.

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And almost right on cue, Daniel Vettori announced his retirement yesterday, bringing to an end a stellar career that saw him become the most capped Kiwi player and successful bowler. The contrast with Michael Clarke’s own headline stealing declaration on the eve of the final is hard to ignore.

But then that’s always been the case with the understated genius of Vettori. With more than 300 wickets each in both Tests and ODIs, plus the experience of 442 international matches, Vettori is a true legend of New Zealand cricket. But his legacy goes beyond his country. He was widely considered as one of the greatest left-arm spinners of all time before a series of back and Achilles injuries put serious question marks over his career.

Vettori had been out of the game for so long, it was feared he might have lost the art of spin along the way as well. But with a home World Cup looming, the former captain decided to bite the bullet and put his fitness issues aside for a shot at glory. And he nearly pulled it off.

The 36-year-old was in a league of his own among slow bowlers at the World Cup. He picked up 15 scalps from nine games, but most importantly, kept up the pressure by giving away just 4.04 runs an over throughout the event – the second best economy rate behind Mitchell Starc. 

Spinners generally did well but many were aided by the responsive wickets and huge grounds of Australia. Vettori, however, played all but one of his nine games on the small and generally unresponsive pitches in New Zealand. Playing in odd-shaped venues with not much help for the slow bowlers can unsettle the very best. But the left-armer took that as a challenge and made maximum use of change of pace, angles and variations to keep the batsmen in check. 

Having an economy of close to four in a World Cup where 400 was breached three times and 300 all too regularly is a testament to his mastery over the art. But let’s not forget his ability with the bat. 

In Test matches, he has scored six centuries. For a lower order batsman, that is a considerable number. It’s a shame not many hail him as one the very best all-rounders, as Vettori is only the third player to have the double of 4000 runs and 300 wickets in Tests. His all-round skills are exceptional, but it’s his control over the ball which made him special.

There are many who feel Indian spinner Bishan Singh Bedi was the best left-arm slow bowler to have played the game as he bowled with a beautiful loop and got appreciable turn and bounce. But Vettori survived and even flourished in an era when top edges sail over the boundary ropes and wickets get flatter by the day. To fight so many challenges, come back for one last shot at glory and then come up with the goods under intense pressure is remarkable.

In the quarter-final against the West Indies, Vettori came up with a piece of magic. Marlon Samuels hit an upper cut to third man where Vettori leapt at the last possible moment, stuck his left hand out and latched on to the ball with minimal fuss. 
The catch summed Vettori up perfectly – cool, collected and so typically understated.

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