‘Envelopes of cash’: Cricket travel payments under microscope

Save articles for later

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.

A leaked document reveals how a practice of Cricket Australia officials receiving wads of cash in envelopes at International Cricket Council meetings in Dubai was brought to a halt after concerns were raised about it internally.

The shutting down of the cash allowances of $US500 per day ($696) was conveyed in an October 14, 2019 email from Michelle Tredenick, the chair of CA's People, Culture and Ethics Committee, to other directors in which she also detailed how chairman Earl Eddings would have his salary increased from $204,000 to $250,000 following a remuneration review as well as be given an additional allowance of $5000 per trip to an ICC meeting.

Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings was given a big pay rise last year.Credit:Eddie Jim

The email included speaking notes for Ms Tredenick ahead of her consulting state association chairs about Mr Eddings’ pay rise.

It said “… we have also taken a diff approach to the provision of travel allowances provided by the ICC to directors travelling on ICC business – previously the chair and the ceo generally. These were previously paid in cash directly to person. We have agreed that they be paid to CA instead and all expenses be paid by CA through corporate credit card processes.

“This is better governance. At the same time for the chair we have instituted (paid by CA) an allowance of 5k per trip to compensate for time away from work/business whilst overseas on CA business, which can be considerable throughout the year and is over and above the Chair duties generally.”

In a separate section of the document Ms Tredenick told board members of feedback from state chairs about the ICC payments.

“All had some questions/concerns re ICC cash payments and travel allowance – happy to discuss further at next meeting. I worked through this as best I could,” wrote Ms Tredenick, who also sits on the board of the Ethics Centre, which made damning findings about the culture at CA in 2018 after reviewing it following the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.

The CA chairman, like other ICC directors from member nations around the world, was given $US500 per day in cash allowances by the world game's governing body when he attended week-long ICC meetings while the CEO and other non-ICC directors were handed $US125 ($175) per day.

A CA spokeswoman said on Sunday when a CA policy was introduced around the payments in July 2019 a financial reconciliation process was undertaken in which Mr Eddings paid back less than $3000 of allowances received over a 12 to 18-month period.

Sources said chief executive Kevin Roberts had raised a red flag about the practice after returning from his first ICC meeting as CEO early last year.

However, Mr Eddings said on Sunday it was him and Mr Roberts who brought it to the board's attention. He said he had just attended his first ICC meeting as full-time chairman after being appointed in November 2018, having filled in for predecessor David Peever at a previous meeting and accompanied him to others.

Kevin Roberts departed as Cricket Australia chief executive in June.Credit:Getty Images

"I was the one who came back to the board with Kevin and said 'listen this is how it's been going on for 10, 15 years, it's all above board, I just don't feel comfortable getting cash," Mr Eddings said. "I was the one with Kevin who changed the process. Him and I did it together … we came back to the board with a recommendation.

"Not that there was anything wrong, it just didn't feel quite right getting envelopes of cash, even though it was a process from the ICC."

Mr Roberts, who was forced out of the organisation in June, declined to comment on Sunday.

A source close to his long-term predecessor as CEO, James Sutherland, said Mr Sutherland had always returned any cash received at the ICC and handed it over in full to CA, using a CA corporate card at meetings for expenses.

The CA spokeswoman said the ICC allowances were provided "to cover out of pocket expenses when they attend ICC board meetings, committee meetings or working group meetings". She said the duration of meetings varied from three to seven days and the chair and CEO would attend four a year.

"While cash allowances are an ICC policy, it was raised internally to the board in April 2019 after an ICC meeting. It was after this trip that there was a recommendation to the board as to how future treatment of ICC cash allowances were handled," the spokeswoman said.

"The policy was introduced from July 2019 with all cash payments declared under the new policy and all cash accounted for by receipts or deposited into CA’s bank account.

"Cash allowances from the ICC meetings prior to the amended policy were reconciled and the money was deposited into CA’s bank account against receipts provided."

The CA spokeswoman said the $5000 per trip subsequently given to the chairman was "an additional director fee for attendance at ICC meetings and was introduced to compensate for time away from work/business whilst overseas on CA business, which could be considerable throughout the year".

Mr Eddings was last year commissioned to review the governance of the ICC by its then chairman Shashank Manohar.

Sport newsletter

Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to the Herald‘s daily newsletter here and The Age‘s weekly newsletter here.

Most Viewed in Sport

Source: Read Full Article