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Mustafa Kamal steps down as ICC president

40A H M Mustafa Kamal stepped down from the post of the President of International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday, accusing two of his colleagues in the high echelons of the global cricket’s apex body of resorting to unconstitutional means and indulging in unlawful acts. Kamal, who is in the charge of the planning ministry of the ruling government, announced his resignation at a packed press conference at HazratShahjalal International Airport in Dhaka soon after his return from Australia.
Kamal’s resignation follows a public fall out with the ICC stemming from the India-Bangladesh quarter-final at the World Cup, when he had strongly criticised the umpires – even questioning their motives – over a dubious no-ball call that went against Bangladesh.
“I resign right at this moment. I am no longer the ICC president,” said Mustafa Kamal after announcing his resignation.
Hours after the announcement of Kamal, the ICC issued a press release confirming his resignation as the president of the global cricket’s apex body with immediate effect.
The ICC board will make decision on his resignation at its forthcoming meeting in Dubai on Apr 15-16. If the resignation is accepted, the ICC will also consider appointing a new president at the meeting.
Kamal at the airport news briefing said that his decision to step from the ICC post is meant to make people across the world aware of the true nature of the quarters tarnishing the image of ICC through their unlawful acts.
“It is not possible to work with those who are going to do unconstitutional and unlawful act one after another. They tarnished the image of the global organisation. I want to let the people of the world know the truth,” he said.
“They are setting a standard for the organisation. But they don’t follow it. They frequently set such standard and break it by their own will. In this way, if the organisation runs, it will fall into the crisis of image.” Kamal further said that he had been deprived of his proper right to hand over the championship trophy to the winning team’s captain. “As per the clause of 3.3 (b) of the ICC constitution, the president has every right to present the trophy at ICC global events. But I have been deprived of my legal rights,” Kamal informed.
He further claimed that a mini drama was staged to prevent him from the presentation ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after the final clash between Australia and New Zealand.
Without naming ICC chairman N Srinivasan and CEO Richardson, Kamal alleged that he was forced to withdraw his comments, which he rejected. He further claimed that cricket is not safe in the hands of those ‘ugly people’.
“During the meeting ahead of the final, they asked to me to offer an apology or withdraw the statement, which I rejected. They forced me that unless I do what they told, I will be denied to give away the trophy,” said Kamal.
“I challenged that this would be in clear violation of the constitution and to do that you have to amend the constitution, something that you can’t do without the support of the majority members’ vote. They said they would look into the matter later and for now, I won’t be given the trophy.”
Elaborating on the irregularities during the India-Bangladesh quarter final match, he said, “You won’t find any match where the spider cam is not used when the game is held in Melbourne. But during the quarter final match against India, there was no spider cam which I noticed first and informed it to CEO immediately.
As a human being, everybody can make some mistakes and that’s why technology is used. But I was surprised watching that the technology was not used properly.”
“There were such grave mistakes that people from different parts started calling me over phone and told me why on earth I was silent there. Even I found some banner in the stadium accusing ICC as the Indian Cricket Council.”
Kamal claimed that the country came before the ICC for him and that is why he reacted sharply. “If it happened to another country, I would protest the same way because I feel there should be justice and equity in a gentleman’s game like cricket,” he said.
Kamal also came down heavily on the ICC chairman N Srinivasan who was apparently the force behind the controversial decision of denying him the opportunity to present the trophy.
“He is a proven corrupt person. This person is sacked from the BCCI by their court. Cricket will not be a gentleman’s game if such corrupt people run the supreme board of cricket,” Kamal added.
Although he sharply criticised some quarters at the ICC and expressed his resentment during the briefing, Kamal, in his resignation letter to ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, said he was stepping down on personal grounds and offered his apologies to all associated with the ICC. He also said 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.
No one from the Bangladesh Cricket Board was present at the airport to receive Kamal. Only former BCB director Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu was present beside him when he was talking to the media.