International cricket body creates PR chief position

The International Cricket Council is on the hunt for its first PR

chief as it attempts to rebuild the sport's reputation.



The global governing body for both test matches and one-day cricket has

created the post of general manager of communications after identifying

improvements to its PR function as a priority.



Late last year the ICC was embroiled in a spat with the Board of Control

for Cricket in India over the suspension of India's Virender Sehweg and

allegations of ball tampering and excessive appealing to the umpire

during games.



This came just one year after the match-fixing scandal involving South

Africa team captain Hansie Cronje.



The communications expert will be tasked with developing a crisis

management programme and building the ICC's first in-house PR team.



The person will also be assigned to develop internet and publishing

output as well as build better links between the ICC and its

membership.



The increasing diplomatic tension between Pakistan and India is likely

to increase media interest in matches this year.



Malcolm Speed, the ICC's CEO to whom the comms manager will report,

said: 'Media and public interest is intense and we want to ensure we

have the right quantity and quality of resource to capitalise on

this.'



Messages to communicate to the media will include action the ICC has

taken aimed at reviving the sport's image.



This includes an action plan to eliminate corruption and the launch of a

World Test Championship.



PR for the ICC is currently handled jointly by Countrywide Porter

Novelli and part time communications consultant Mark Harrison.



CPN consultant Andrew Baud said: 'A lot of work has been going on around

issues management during the past two years. What this latest

appointment is doing is enhancing a commitment to improving the sport's

image.'



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