ICC chief Malcolm Speed rejects accusation of bias

The International Cricket Council has hit back at claims of racial bias against the Asian Test-playing nations. "We read this from time to time and we get very offended by it," ICC chief Malcolm Speed told an Asian Cricket Council seminar in Kuala Lumpur.

"Our president at the moment is from Pakistan, the chairman of the Cricket Committee is from India and our chief referee is from Sri Lanka. Everyone gets along very well and that's great news," Speed said.

Last year, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram described the ICC as a "forum for white cricketers". And ICC president Ehsan Mani has sometimes been portrayed in the media as a mere puppet figure, with Speed holding the power and formulating policy.

But Speed praised Mani's leadership since taking over from Malcolm Gray in 2003, saying: "I think everyone should be hugely indebted to him."

Malcolm Speed

The ICC moved its headquarters from Lord's to Dubai last summer, a decision which Speed said was recognition of Asia's importance in the cricket world.
"Cricket's unique selling point is the Indian sub-continent. In those four countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) there is a great passion for cricket and 22% of the world's population.
"Much of our revenue now comes from that region and we should work very hard to make sure that continues to happen."

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