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Madhumita mystifies Speed

London, Aug. 22 (PTI): International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed today said it was a “surprise and mystery” to him how slain poet Madhumita Shukla came in possession of “what are alleged to be my hotel room keys” during his visit to India last year.

In a statement issued by the ICC, Speed said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Madhumita and the entire thing was a “mystery” to him.

“I have been made aware through a number of Indian media enquiries of claims that electronic keys to a hotel room found in the possessions of a murdered Indian lady are allegedly those to a room occupied by me in November last year,” he said.

“This is a complete surprise and mystery to me. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady and have no idea whatsoever of how she came to be in possession of what are alleged to be my hotel room keys.”

Detailing his visit to India, Speed said “along with three members of the ICC’s senior management team, I was in Delhi for a series of meetings with ICC sponsors on November 19 and 20 last year”.

“During the course of our time in India, I was involved in a number of meetings between ICC management, sponsors, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and other individuals to discuss issues surrounding the ICC cricket World Cup 2003.”

The ICC chief executive said he had attended a sponsors’ function one evening and, along with the other ICC managers, met with the council’s legal counsel on another evening before eating at the hotel restaurant.

“I have seen a picture of the lady on the Internet and at no time during my stay do I recall meeting or talking with this person. If she was present at one of the social occasions I attended, I do not recall seeing or meeting her. In short, I do not know the woman concerned.”

Regarding the keys, Speed said it was a mystery to him and no investigating agency had contacted him as yet on the matter.

“If it is the case that the keys are from my hotel room, I have no idea of how they came to be in her possession. At no stage has any member of the Indian investigation team contacted me or the ICC on this matter. To put it simply, this whole issue is a mystery to me and to the other ICC management team members who were present in Delhi.”

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