Manu Sawhney, chief executive of the International Cricket Council, has left the organisation with immediate effect.

His departure, which has been anticipated for some time, comes after he was suspended and placed on leave in March, following a review into the organisation’s culture which uncovered serious issues with his management style. 

The ICC has said in a short statement, following an emergency board meeting today, that New Zealand’s Geoff Allardice, who stepped in as acting chief executive following Sawhney’s suspension three months ago, will continue in that role for the time being. 

The governing body has said Allardice will be “supported by the leadership team, working closely with the ICC board".

It has been reported that board members were only given one day’s notice about the meeting, and were informed for the first time yesterday.

Sawhney, first hired in 2019, was suspended on 9 March because of four specific allegations reported – that he bullied certain staff, exhibited physical aggression, impacted directly on the wellbeing of certain individuals through his behaviour, and implemented decisions without properly consulting the rest of the ICC board. 

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Late last month, however, he called his suspension “a premeditated witch-hunt”, and said that “all pretence at undertaking a fair process 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 has indicated he may well appeal, in order to “resist this blatant attempt to force me from office, which would set an extremely dangerous precedent”.

Earlier this week, he told board members that the whole process had been carried out "without accountability, transparency or fairness".  

Prior to joining the ICC, Sawhney was chief executive of the Singapore Sports Hub, a role he left in May 2017 soon after anonymous complaints over his management style were made to one of the organisation’s private equity backers. 

It was reported at the time that his leave of absence started immediately after the complaints, although an internal investigation afterwards found that no further action was warranted. 

During his time in charge of the ICC, Sawhney was a strong advocate of an increase in the number of international World Cup-style events, and of opening the event hosting process out to all ICC member nations, instead of just a select few. 

This brought him into conflict with the cricketing boards from traditional powerhouses England, Australia and India, all of which have appeared to want to focus on more bilateral cricket (especially amongst themselves), and to consolidate the hosting of future ICC events in their own countries. 

Elsewhere, Bangladeshi sports news and betting data website Baji has become a co-sponsor of the ongoing series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. 

The tour, which features one test match, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals, started earlier this week in Harare. 

Damien Wilson, Baji’s chief executive, said: “We are pleased to be a part of this interesting event between two great national cricket teams.”

The series is being streamed live to a Bangladeshi audience by the online platform Toffee.