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Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 08:36 GMT
ICC comes up to Speed
Malcolm Speed is to become the ICC's new chief executive
Australian cricket has prospered under Speed
Malcolm Speed has been named as the new International Cricket Council chief executive in succession to fellow Australian David Richards.

Speed has agreed an initial three-year contract and will take over in July.

"As chief executive of the Australian cricket for the past four years, Malcolm has most ably demonstarted the qualities required," said ICC president Malcolm Gray.

"We are delighted he has accepted our invitation to become the ICC's chief executive at a time when the organisation has committed itself to a period of rapid growth and expansion."

Speed, a qualified lawyer, runs his own sports management business and is also chairman of Basketball Australia.

"There are many exciting challenges facing international cricket at this time and I am honoured to have been chosen to take the ICC forward," the 54-year-old said.

David Richards will be returning to Australia
David Richards with the World Cup

"It is disappointing to leave the Australian Cricket Board at this time. Australian cricket is healthy on and off the field, but there are many things I would have liked to have seen through to their conclusion.

"Nevertheless, I am looking forward to working with all cricket nations to make the International Cricket Council a stronger world sporting body."

Speed was chosen by a five-member panel, whose members included Gray and Lord MacLaurin, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

ACB chairman Denis Rogers praised Speed for his ability to deal with "complex and challenging issues".

Richards is stepping down after eight years in charge, a period which has seen the number of permanent ICC staff increase from two to 21.

He has been responsible for a number of initiatives including the Global Development Programme and is currently pressing for a new system for the recrutiment and training of umpires and referees.

The last 12 months has, however, seen the ICC embroiled in the match-fixing scandal, resulting in them setting up an Anti-Corruption Unit, headed by Sir Paul Condon.

He is due to submit his interim report next month.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Gordon Farqhuar
"The ICC is attempting to respond to criticism that in the past it's been too conservative"
Malcolm Speed
"I'm very pleased with the appointment"
See also:

15 Mar 01 | Cricket
14 Mar 01 | Cricket
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