Manu Sawhney | Sportzwiki

Manu Sawhney

Manu Sawhney at the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021 Tournament Launch in Wellington, New Zealand. - GETTY IMAGES
Manu Sawhney at the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2021 Tournament Launch in Wellington, New Zealand. - GETTY IMAGES
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Manu Sawhney Claims Probe Against Him Is A ‘Premeditated Witch-Hunt’

Manu Sawhney, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) who is currently under suspension and investigation on various charges of misconduct, has strongly refuted the allegations and claimed that he has been a victim of a premeditated witch-hunt.

In an elaborate reply to the disciplinary hearing, held virtually on June 17, Manu Sawhney has contended that he has been denied a fair process of hearing and called the whole process of investigation a scandal.

Manu Sawhney, the ICC CEO, may be asked to resign by the Board members before expiry of his term in 2022.
Manu Sawhney, the ICC CEO, may be asked to resign by the Board members before the expiry of his term in 2022. Image Credit: ICC

Manu Sawhney Claims He Is A Victim Of A Premeditated Witch-hunt

Manu Sawhney was suspended on March 9 on four specific allegations for conducting targeted acts of bullying against certain staff, and exhibiting physical aggression, such as fist banging, and impacting directly or indirectly on individuals’ health and wellbeing through his behaviour, and failure to report to the Board and implemented decisions without proper consultation.

These charges were based on the findings of PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt Ltd, which was ‘tasked with undertaking an independent cultural assessment into the ICC.’

“It is abundantly clear to me, as it would be to any reasonable person or bystander, that I am the victim of a premeditated witch-hunt. All pretence at undertaking a fair process or giving me a fair hearing has been completely abandoned. There has been no attempt to comply with the ICC’s internal policies or even basic principles of natural justice,” Manu Sawhney said.

In an 11-page prepared statement, the CEO, who was previously with ESPN-Star Sports, argued that his livelihood cannot be endangered because of the anonymous charges.

“These allegations have been based completely on anonymous statements which no one has made any attempt to verify or investigate. On the basis of four bullet points, I could potentially lose my livelihood and my reputation. Frankly, the whole situation is nothing short of a scandal.”

“Nevertheless, I believe it is crucially important for my own integrity, and that of the ICC, that I resist this blatant attempt to force me from office, which would set an extremely dangerous precedent. I am also determined to ensure that the significant achievements of the ICC during my tenure are not airbrushed out of history,” he said and declared that he has a right to appeal.

“I will also exercise my right to appeal any guilty decision to the board, in accordance with paragraph 7 of the ICC’s disciplinary policy and clause 17.4 of my employment contract.”

Greg Barclay ICC chairman (Source: File)
Greg Barclay ICC chairman (Source: File)

One of the distinct points of Manu Sawhney’s employment contract with the ICC was that any action against him can only be taken by the chairman of the ICC and in this instance, it is Greg Barclay of New Zealand. Since his suspension, Manu Sawhney has questioned Greg Barclay’s involvement and has sought the chairman’s recusal.

“On 18 March, I objected to Barclay’s involvement in the disciplinary process and requested for my case to be determined by a truly independent and external chair who sits on the Dispute Resolution Committee.

“However, the ICC lawyers have refused my request out of hand, responding that, ‘There is no basis upon which Mr Barclay should recuse himself,'” Sawhney claimed.

It is being said that whilst in the first instance the chairman is responsible for taking any disciplinary action against the CEO, clearly, it is inappropriate for him to do so in circumstances where the chairman is the person who has made the allegations against the CEO and has been directly and personally involved in the matter.

Manu Sawhney: Exercise Undertaken By The PWC Shouldn’t Be Confused With A Proper Disciplinary Investigation

It has been suggested that the ICC Code of Ethics contains a fair and impartial process for dealing with sensitive matters of this nature, in the form of the appointment of an Ethics Tribunal consisting of members who are independent of the parties and who have not had any prior involvement in the case.

“Clearly, this would have been the appropriate forum in which to determine whether the chairman’s allegations against the CEO have any merit,” a source in the know of the developments said.

Price Waterhouse Coopers - AFP File
Price Waterhouse Coopers – AFP File

One more discrepancy being pointed out in the probe is that a meeting called on February 24 to be held on March 8, 2021, to review the findings of a review which, by PWC’s own admission, was not to be concluded until after March 1. Manu Sawhney also questioned the nature of PWC findings claiming that it was only a review and not a disciplinary hearing. Besides, it has also been pointed out that the PWC report has not been shared with the directors of the ICC.

“The PWC report expressly states that its objective was to understand and assess the current culture and underlying organizational behaviours within the ICC. The PWC report is therefore the product of a generic assessment of workplace culture, it is not a product of a thorough disciplinary investigation that adheres to the basic rules of evidence.

“In other words, the exercise undertaken by the PWC should not be confused with a proper disciplinary investigation,” the beleaguered CEO argued.

When contacted, the ICC said it cannot comment since it is an investigation and disciplinary hearings are part of an ongoing process. However, it has emerged that three directors, including ECB chief Ian Whatmore, are privy to the findings.

ICC sources said that given the confidential nature of the PWC report, it could not have been circulated among all the directors of the board. For the record, BCCI has remained neutral in the case. It is not known how long the case will linger, as it has now become a full-blown legal battle between the ICC and its CEO.

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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IPL And PSL Key Factors For Protocols To Be Followed For T20 World Cup: Manu Sawhney

Manu Sawhney, International Cricket Council’s (ICC) chief executive, has said that the postponement of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 would surely be used as one of the examples before finalizing bio-secure protocols for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in India.

The T20 World Cup is slated to be hosted in India in 2021 in October-November. The venues for the tournament are yet to be finalized although 8 venues- Kolkata, Dharmasala, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mohali, Mumbai, and Chennai have been shortlisted by BCCI.

Manu Sawhney
The new ICC CEO Manu Sawhney. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Manu Sawhney: ICC Must Learn From What Is Happening In The Various T20 Leagues Including The IPL Before Following Protocols For T20 World Cup

PSL was postponed on Thursday after a string of Covid-19 positive cases and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that the safety of players is paramount and it would now look to hold the league in a different window this year.

“It is extremely important for everybody to realize that in the case of risk mitigation, it is not a linear curve. For example, given a series which is a bilateral series, let’s say between two teams, versus let’s say a World Cup, which has 16 teams coming from 16 different countries into one country, the risks associated with that are exponentially larger and way different.

“And those are the complexities that all of us are right now are going through and understanding each day better than the day before as to what needs to be done,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Manu Sawhney as saying.

IPL and PSL trophy
IPL and PSL trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“So, for us right now, learning from what is happening in the various T20 leagues, learning from what India is doing currently – and BCCI has done a great job – and post this the IPL will be a very key factor in terms of learnings before we look at what are the protocols we’ll have to follow for the T20 [World Cup] later in the year,” Manu Sawhney added.

Just like PSL 2020, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is looking forward to hosting the 6th edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in two phases. After successfully concluding the 14 matches of the tournament, the authorities were forced to postpone PSL 2021 for an indefinite time owing to the constant rise in the number of coronavirus cases among the players and the support staff despite the bio-secure bubble.

Manu Sawhney said it’s a challenge to ensure the smooth running of the T20I World Cup featuring 16 teams due to the rising Covid-19 cases.

Manu Sawhney Acknowledges It’s An Enormous Challenge To Ensure The T20I World Cup With 16 Teams Happens Smoothly Due To Covid-19 Protocols

It is speculated that PSL can resume in May 2021 as that is the only possible free window available for the franchises. This potentially means that PSL can directly clash with the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

While the BCCI is yet to announce the schedule of IPL 2021, it is learned that the tournament will run in the month of April and May. In such a scenario, players like Faf du Plessis, Chris Gayle, Chris Lynn, Imran Tahir, Ben Cutting, Mohammad Nabi who are named in both leagues will have to make a choice between IPL 2021 and PSL 2021.

Imran Tahir For CSK In IPL
Imran Tahir For CSK In IPL (Image Credit: Twitter)

“But getting 16 teams from different countries with their quarantine protocols, with their risk factors….getting them into the country, then making sure the tournament happens and making sure that the players can then get back to their respective countries is an enormous challenge….

“And a challenge where everybody needs to come together and everybody needs to realise that there is a high probability that things may not go as per plan. And to have the faith that everybody is trying to do his best to make things happen given the uncertainty which still exists,” said Manu Sawhney.

The BCCI is also looking to host the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India this year. The venues are yet to be announced for the 14th edition of the tournament.

Pakistan Super League 2021 has seen the participation of several star players like Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Chris Gayle, Faf Du Plessis, Ben Cutting, Joe Denly, David Miller, Ravi Bopara, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Alex Hales, Imran Tahir, Carlos Braithwaite, Chris Lynn, and Shahid Afridi among others.

Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Morris, Jofra Archer, AB De Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada, Steve Smith, Jason Holder, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques, Dawid Malan, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Quinton De Kock, Adam Milne, Kieron Pollard, and Hardik Pandya are some of the players participating in Indian Premier League 2021.

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ICC Condemns Reports Of Racism During Sydney Test

ICC has strongly condemned reported incidents of racism during the ongoing third Test match between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground and have offered Cricket Australia all necessary support in investigating the incidents as India’s pace bowling duo were subjected to racial abuse.

Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were subjected to racial abuse on 2nd and 3rd day but a day after India officially lodged a complaint with ICC, six spectators were asked to leave the ground with the Hyderabad pacer once again subjected to crowd trouble on day 4 of the ongoing third Test where Australia set India a target of 370 to win.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

ICC’s Manu Sawhney: No Place For Discrimination And Will Not Tolerate Any Racism In Cricket

On day three of the Sydney Test between India and Australia, Mohammed Siraj, who is playing his debut Test series, and Jasprit Bumrah were racially abused by spectators in the stadium.

ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney re-iterated the ICC’s zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination of any kind:

“There is no place for discrimination in our sport and we are incredibly disappointed that a small minority of fans may think that this abhorrent behaviour is acceptable. We have a comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Policy in place that Members have to abide by and ensure is adhered to by fans and we welcome the action taken by ground authorities and Cricket Australia today.”

ICC CEO Manu Sawhney
Manu Sawhney- Photo Credit: CNBC

“We will provide Cricket Australia and the relevant authorities with our full support in any ensuing investigation as we will not tolerate any racism in our sport.”

Under the ICC Anti-Discrimination policy, Cricket Australia will now be required to investigate the issue and provide a report to the ICC on the incident and if any action is taken to ensure the issue has been dealt appropriately.

ICC Match Referee David Boon Was Informed Of Alleged Racial Abuse

The Indian cricket team had apprised ICC Match Referee David Boon of alleged racial abuse at the end of the third day’s play with pacers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah at receiving end. Match and stadium officials were kept on alert on the fourth day and as such play was halted and six people were evicted following another incident just before tea.

David Boon
David Boon. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Team India has officially lodged the complaint and as of now, the issue rests with the International Cricket Council (ICC). This incident refreshes the Sydney Test in 2008 when Andrew Symonds of Australia had accused Harbhajan Singh of calling him Monkey. And, the umpire had banned him for playing him the next match after which, the Indian team had protested against the decision, stating that the accusations were false.

Australia have given India a target of 407 to chase after declaring on 312/6 with the fifties from Steve Smith, Cameron Green and Marnus Labuschagne. India are presently at 98/2 at stumps on the fourth day with openers back in Pavillion.

David Richardson, Manu Sawhney
Manu Sawhney (Credits - ICC)
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Manu Sawhney Appointed As Cheif Executive Of International Cricket Council

On Monday, the International Cricket Council has released a media quote saying that the working professional Manu Sawhney has been appointed as the chief executive of the ICC with immediate effect. The current executive David Richardson will step down from the position after the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019.

Sawhney has been working alongside the outgoing Chief Executive David Richardson for the last six weeks to ensure a smooth transition for the organization. Well, Richardson will remain with the ICC until July. He is originally planned to oversee the delivery of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

Richardson will remain with the ICC until July as originally planned to oversee the delivery of the World Cup in the United Kingdom. Sawhney was appointed in January. His appointment was ratified by the ICC Board following a global search. Meanwhile, the appointment process was led by the apex body’s chairman Shashank Manohar and the Nominations Committee.

David Richardson, Manu Sawhney
David Richardson. Credits: AFP

I am absolutely delighted – Manu Sawhney

Speaking of the recruitment, the excited Manu Sawhney quoted that he is very happy to take the reigns from David Richardson. Manu quoted that he would strive hard to deliver goods on a consistent basis for the game of cricket.

“I am absolutely delighted to be taking over the reins from David. He has steered the sport so capably over the last seven years. I am pleased to say he will continue to lead the delivery of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. There is no better person to ensure the event is the greatest celebration of cricket ever.

Further, he went on to add saying that he is keen on working in partnerships with the board members to ensure smooth operations in the department.  However, Manu Sawhney is hopeful of doing good for the game.

David Richardson, Manu Sawhney
Manu Sawhney will be the new CEO. (Credits – ICC)

“I am excited by the opportunities ahead. I am looking forward to working in partnership with our Members, partners and staff to ambitiously accelerate the global growth of the game. Technology, engagement, women’s cricket and driving greater value are key focus areas for us. We consider how we can innovate to transform the sport’s long-term future and create a vibrant and sustainable sport globally,” he added.

I am pleased with what we have achieved – David Richardson

Richardson had a stellar time working as the CEO of the ICC. Speaking of his resignation, David added that he had a great time with the member and the staff. He termed that they did a fantastic job for the game of cricket.

David Richardson, ICC, Christchurch shooting
David Richardson Image credit: Getty Images

 “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the ICC. I am pleased with what we have achieved in recent times particularly in creating greater context for all formats of the game. And, I’d like to wish Manu and the team all the very best of luck for the future,” he added.

Well, David Richardson had done a splendid job for ICC. However, ending with ICC World Cup 2019 would be a great achievement for the individual. Meanwhile, the new CEO Manu Sawhney would be excited to take over the reins.

Manu Sawhney, ICC, Dave Richardson
ICC appoints Manu Sawhney as the CEO. Photo Credit: CNBC
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Manu Sawhney to replace Dave Richardson as ICC CEO from July 2019

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday (January 15) has appointed India-born Manu Sawhney as its new chief executive. Sawhney will replace former South African wicketkeeper-batsman Dave Richardson, for a top-brass position at the Dubai-based board.

Following a two-day interview procedure, the former managing director of broadcasting giant ESPN-Star Sports (ESS) and Singapore Sports Hub (SSH) will be joining the reputed organization in mid-February. However, Sawhney is all set to take over incumbent Richardson in July officially following the 2019 ICC World Cup in England. At the same time, Sawhney’s contract period has not been revealed in the ICC’s latest press release.

Manu Sawhney, Dave Richardson, ICC
Dave Richardson is the incumbent CEO of ICC. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The interview panel comprised of Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Earl Eddings, independent director Indra Nooyi alongside Board of Control for Cricket in India’s interim secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and David Cameron, the president for Cricket West Indies.

Moreover, the latest addition came as a unanimous choice approved by the world cricket governing body ICC under the tutelage of its chairman Shashank Manohar and the Board Nomination Committee. The committee met in London to name the next CEO among four shortlisted candidates.

“I am delighted to confirm Manu’s appointment today. He brings 22 years of outstanding commercial experience to the ICC and will lead the delivery of our new global growth strategy for the game. Our search produced a host of excellent candidates from around the world, but Manu stood out as the man to work with our Members and take cricket forward,” ICC digital quoted Manohar as saying in a press release.

Sawhney’s job is to work on the leadership owing to the smooth growth of the global cricketing brand.

ICC, Shashank Manohar
Shashank Manhor is serving as the chairman for the ICC. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

At ESPN-Star Sports, Sawhney worked for over 17 years which further saw him landing in a mega broadcast partnership deal with the ICC between 2007 and 2015. Sawhney has equally expressed his excitement after landing into another lucrative job.

“He has proven success in a number of leadership roles in both sport and broadcasting. He is a strategic thinker and understands the cricket landscape and its complexities. The decision of the Nominations Committee to recommend Manu to the Board was a unanimous one. And I and my fellow directors are looking forward to working with him,” Manohar added.

Sawhney added he is looking forward to giving his best after the ICC has reposed faith on experienced media professional.

“It is a great privilege and responsibility to serve the global cricket community as CEO of the ICC. The sport has more than a billion fans and an ambitious growth strategy. So, it is a very exciting time to lead the organization. I’d like to thank the ICC Board for giving me this opportunity and look forward to working with them, our Members, the team and ICC’s incredible partners and cricketers around the world to propel the sport forward into a period of significant and sustained global growth in the coming years,” Sawhney asserted.

As per the presser, ICC appointed Egon Zehnder, the global firm to identify prospective employees in September 2019. However, the reliable sources revealed criterion for head-hunting was based on to pick the CEO other than the cricketing background.

Dave Richardson, Steve Elworthy, ICC
Steve Elworthy has also been a part of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

On this basis, former South African cricketer Steve Elworthy was ruled out among the potential candidates. Interestingly, Elworthy is serving as the managing director of 2019 ICC World Cup.