The International Cricket Council on Saturday made it clear that it had nothing to do with the absence of former Indian captain Ravi Shastri from the panel of commentators for last month’s Champions Trophy in England.
An Indian newspaper on Saturday reported that Shastri was not included in the Champions Trophy commentary panel at the behest of ICC for his opposition to the controversial Umpire Decision Review System.
Calling the report “baseless and factually incorrect”, the ICC said it has no role to play in the selection of commentators.
“To begin with, Fox STAR Sports, the host broadcaster, selects and contracts the commentators. As the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 was a global event, there needed to be a mix of commentators and as such, Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Sourav Ganguly and Harsha Bhogle were selected by the host broadcaster as commentators from India for its world feed,” an ICC spokesman said.
“Secondly, the ICC neither picks nor has a wish-list of commentators, as claimed by the newspaper. Furthermore, the ICC doesn’t give any guidelines to the commentators who are free to express their views. As has always been the case, the ICC respects the views and comments of all the commentators,” he added.
The ICC said Shastri has been expressing his views on DRS in the meetings of the ICC Cricket Committee, of which he is a member.
“...Mr Ravi Shastri is a media representative on the ICC Cricket Committee and shares his views on that forum. The ICC Cricket Committee last met at Lord’s on 28 and 29 May, a week before the start of the event, and Mr Shastri attended the meeting,” the spokesman said.
“Lastly and as regards the Decision Review System, the ICC Board had agreed in 2011 that it will be up to the two boards to use the DRS in a bi-lateral series, but had also approved that it will be used in all 50-over ICC events,” he added.