ICC’s suspended CEO Manu Sawhney says he is victim of premeditated witch-hunt – The Chief Executive Officer of the International Cricket Council, who is currently suspended for misconduct, has rubbished all the allegations and said that he has premeditated witch-hunt. Sawhney was sent on leave last month. Close to 90% of staff at the ICC, spoke against Sawhney during the PWC investigation when asked to communicate with a guarantee of absolute discretion, about his general conduct as the federation’s CEO.
“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,” Sawhney’s statement read.
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Allegations on Manu Sawhney
- Sawhney conducted targeted acts of bullying against certain staff
- Sawhney exhibited physical aggression
- Sawhney behaviour directly or indirectly impacted individuals’ health and wellbeing
- Sawhney failed to report to the Board and implemented decisions without proper consultation
Sawhney had responded to the allegations in a disciplinary hearing held on June 17. He had come under scrutiny for alleged abrasive behaviour with his colleagues and authoritarian style of functioning.
“These allegations have been based completely on anonymous statements which no one has made any attempt to verify or investigate. On the basis of our bullet points, I could potentially lose my livelihood and my reputation. Frankly, the whole situation is nothing short of a sandal,” Sawhney said.
Sawhney also said that he will exercise his right to appeal any guilty decision to the board.
“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. 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,” he added.
In Sawhney’s employment contract there is a Unique clause that says that any action against him can be taken only by the chairman of the world body. The chairman of the ICC is at this point is Greg Barclay of New Zealand.
“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.
He had come under scrutiny for alleged abrasive behaviour with his colleagues and authoritarian style of functioning.
Sawhney has also questioned the PWC report.
“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,” said the Indian.
Sawhney is a former CEO of Singapore Sports Hub and also served as Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports, a company he worked with for 17 years.