The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday affirmed that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Manu Sawhney will leave the organization with immediate effect following the findings of an internal investigation over his “abrasive conduct.” The decision was taken by the ICC board at an emergency meeting on Thursday.
Acting CEO Geoff Allardice will remain in his role and take over the proceedings from Sawhney, who was directed to go on leave by the governing body in March following the internal audit administered by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Manu Sawhney has been under the storm for a while after more than 90 percent of the apex body employees gave their depositions against him. Sawhney termed the administrative body’s probe against him as a “premeditated witch-hunt”.
Apart from being alleged for misconduct, disrespectful behaviour, and aggression towards his colleagues, Sawhney was also found guilty of executing decisions and failing to report to the ICC. Sawhney, however, dismissed these claims.
Sawhney had replaced Dave Richardson as the ICC chief executive after the 2019 World Cup. But his “authoritarian style of functioning” is far removed from the comprehensive approach taken by Richardson and has not gone down well with the employees.
Also, several boards were troubled with Sawhney’s backing of ICC’s latest decision to ask boards to bid and pay a fee for hosting ICC events during the next cycle. The Big 3 — the BCCI, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and Cricket Australia, have been against the idea and made their position on the issue clear during numerous board meetings.
Sawhney has previously worked as CEO of Singapore Sports Hub and also a non-executive director and member of the Audit Committee of Premier League club Manchester United Ltd. He also served as the Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports, a company he worked in for 17 years.