(Reuters) - The head of the international cricket players' association, Tim May, has resigned citing frustration at the global governing body amid allegations of corruption in the game and backroom politicking.
The former Australian offspinner had headed the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) since 2005 but said on Wednesday he had grown disillusioned with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its member boards.
"Over the past 18 months or so, I came to the realisation that I was tiring of working in a sport that was increasingly at odds with the principles I respect," May said in a statement.
"More and more we see allegations of corruption and malpractice on and off the field dominating headlines.
"As stakeholders in the game we look to leadership from the ICC to address these and other issues a vital ingredient of any organisation is the ability of its leaders to set the moral and principled example to others, and to police its organisation from top to bottom to ensure adherence to those principles.
"Yet cricket increasingly seems to be pushing aside the principles of transparency, accountability, independence, and upholding the best interests of the global game, in favour of a system that appears to operate through threats, intimidation and backroom deals."
Cricket has been embroiled in a series of controversies in recent years, most notably when three Pakistani cricketers were imprisoned for spot-fixing a test match against England, while several Indian players and administrators have been recently questioned over spot-fixing in a domestic Twenty20 competition.
The 51-year-old May, who had led the Australian Cricket Players Association for eight years before he moved to FICA, added he felt cricket's administrators were focused on removing dissenting voices, to the sport's detriment.
May was removed from the ICC's cricket committee last month amid allegations of pressure from the powerful Indian board.
"Increasingly the administrators of the game seek to force out or alienate those who question its alleged misuse of power, or those who seek greater transparency, or provide rational argument against the ills of the administration," he said.
"It appears that some administrators just don't want to be held to account to the standards that are expected of them.
"There is a great opportunity for the ICC to arrest this trend and become one of the worlds best governed sports.
"For the future of the global interests of the game, I hope this happens sooner than later - because the current system is failing us."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford)