New Delhi:There's a joke going around that the ICC must stand for International Cowards Council. This is may be because ICC has come out looking rather weak in the entire Harbhajan Singh-Symonds case.
Skeptics are saying that the BCCI's financial muscle assured a verdict in India's favour. After all, its revenue of at least Rs 1,621 crore annually for the next three years contributes to 70 per cent of the ICC's coffers.
The Australian players may have been made to look silly and Cricket Australia has compromised but nobody is looking worse than the ICC. Justice Hansen's attempts to clear the ICC also seemed a little feeble.
Hansen, ICC Appeals Commissioner said, "I have read some of this morning's media reports on the outcome of the hearing. I trust now that the full facts are known there will be more proportionality and rationality. I wish to make it quite plain that as a code of conduct commissioner appointed by ICC, I am independent of them. It was not the ICC who reduced the charge to, that was my decision alone. I made it on the basis on my factual findings and legal interpretation of the code of conduct."
That statement would have sounded genuine but for a fact, Cricket Australia and the BCCI got its respective players to sign a joint statement even before the appeal hearing began, asking for the charges to be dropped.
No wonder then that an unnamed Aussie player said its frustrating that India's money power talks.
However, former BCCI president NKP Salve, a man who fought apartheid, believes that the BCCI was right in adopting the tactics they did down under.
Salve said, "The BCCI has sidelined and twisted the arm of the ICC and I think that is good for international cricket because that has atleast assured that relations between India and Australia will continue and cricket will be played."
It's widely accepted that the ICC bowed down to the pressure of the BCCI-led Asian Bloc during the Oval Test controversy of 2006, umpire Darell Hair in this case was the alleged scapegoat.
Match referee Mike Procter and Steve Bucknor may join follow what happened to Hair, as ICC question their credibility.
For the ICC, it's going to be difficult to undo the damage to their already fragile reputation.