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Mustafa Kamal resigns as ICC president in World Cup dispute


Mustafa Kamal resigns as ICC president in World Cup dispute

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DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Mustafa Kamal resigned as president of the International Cricket Council on Wednesday, still accusing India of influencing the outcome of its Cricket World Cup quarterfinal win over Bangladesh.

The ICC later confirmed in a statement that Kamal had “tendered his resignation” with immediate effect.

“Everyone saw what happened during the Bangladesh-India match… India has influenced the outcome of the match using its position (in the ICC),” Kamal, a Bangladeshi, said at the airport on his return from the tournament in Australia.

“From now on, I am a former president of the ICC. I would have reacted similarly had it happened to any other country.”

The ICC said Kamal resigned on personal grounds, offered his apologies to all associated with the ICC and “had no complaints to make against anyone.”

Kamal, a former president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board and now a government minister, pitched himself into controversy less than two weeks ago when he criticised the umpires in the quarterfinal, and questioned their partiality, over a disputed no-ball against India batsman Rohit Sharma.

On-field umpires — Ian Gould from England and Pakistan’s Aleem Dar — adjudged that Rubel Hossain had bowled a waist-high no-ball when Sharma was on 90 and was caught in the deep. The Indian opener went on to score 137 runs but television replays suggested Hossain had bowled a fair delivery and was denied a wicket.

Kamal said he spoke as a fan, and not the president, but ICC chief executive Dave Richardson termed the criticism as “unfortunate,” and said the umpires were beyond question.

Kamal said the ICC asked him to either withdraw his statement or apologise for his outburst, otherwise he would be denied the duty of handing the World Cup trophy to the winning captain at the final.

“I told them during the meeting that I did not speak against any particular person or a country. Why should I apologise?” Kamal said.

“I am the president of the ICC, to whom would I seek apology?”

ICC chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan, of India, passed the trophy to captain Michael Clarke after Australia defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in Sunday’s final in Melbourne.

Pakistan’s former test captain Mohammad Yousuf told a private television channel Geo TV that Kamal did the right thing by quitting in protest.

“He showed lot of courage by resigning after he was denied his constitutional right to present the trophy,” Yousuf said.

The ICC said the vacant ceremonial position of president will be discussed during the forthcoming board meeting in Dubai on April 15-16.

The council has a rotational policy for appointing the president and it is now Pakistan’s turn. The Pakistan Cricket Board has already named its board member Najam Sethi for the ICC presidency from July 1.

However, the ICC has other options too. According to its constitution, the ICC chairman become president for an interim period or the board could appoint someone else before Sethi takes over.