Speed not forced to sky down: Morgan

London, Apr 27 (UNI) International Cricket Council (ICC) president-elect David Morgan today said the decision to have chief executive Malcolm Speed step down from his post ahead of schedule had not been imposed upon the Australian.

The cricket's world governing body announced on April 25 that Speed was to go on paid leave for the final two months of his contract following a ''fundamental breakdown'' between him and several board members, including the current ICC president, South Africa's Ray Mali, over the controversial issue of Zimbabwe.

''That has not been imposed on him (Speed), it is something I have done with the president and chief executive,'' Morgan told a news conference at Lord's here.

Morgan confirmed and the extraordinary development was prompted by Speed's unhappiness at the way in which the ICC dealt with Zimbabwe.

''Zimbabwe is an issue where the president and the chief executive have disagreed, there is no doubt about that,'' said Morgan.

The 59-year-old Speed was particularly frustrated by the ICC board's failure, following its March meeting, to take any significant action against Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) after an independent forensic audit carried out by leading accountants KPMG raised questions about the state of ZC's finances.

''You know what the board decision was in relation to the KPMG report, Mr Speed was clearly uncomfortable with that,'' he added.

The ICC's general manager, David Richardson, will serve as interim chief executive until the former South Africa wicketkeeper's compatriot Haroon Lorgat takes over as planned as chief executive in July.


Story first published: Monday, April 28, 2008, 10:18 [IST]
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