BCCI decides to revive India-Pakistan cricket ties
The cricketing ice between India and Pakistan is melting. The frosty diplomatic relations notwithstanding, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to renew the bilateral ties with Pakistan. The inevitable fallout of the decision is India’s readiness to play Pakistan anywhere.
In other words, the BCCI, which has been steadfastly against going to a neutral country to play Pakistan, has climbed down from that hard position. It is willing to send the team to any country, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They might even say yes to Sharjah.
A decision to this effect was taken at the emergent working committee meeting of the BCCI in Chennai yesterday. The BCCI sent out a general press statement but specifically mentioned Pakistan. “The meeting has authorized the office bearers to discuss bilateral matches with other Full Members (including Pakistan) and sign formal FTP Agreements,” the BCCI stated in a release.
The decision follows a telecon between BCCI president N Srinivasan and recently-restored president of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf. There is no immediate window for a series to be organised but the BCCI is open to play a short series against Pakistan in the next 12 months.
“There is no window till 2015 to accommodate a full-fledged series but we can squeeze in a short series if a proposal from the PCB comes through,” Sanjay Patel, BCCI secretary, told Mirror. He was categorical that Team India will be ready to travel to any place that Pakistan suggests, including the venues in the Middle East where Misbah & Co play their home games.
India have not played a match the Middle East, particularly in Sharjah, since 2000 and the last bilateral series between the countries was a short ODI-T20 series in 2012-13. It is now India’s turn to visit Pakistan. Given India’s busy schedule, a window for a short series is not possible but the countries could work out a schedule between September and December this year.
“We welcome the BCCI decision. I’ve had a discussion with Srinivasan and we knew that the BCCI would take such a decision,” Ashraf said.
The focus of the meeting, however, was elsewhere. The meeting was called to discuss and authorise the officebearers to act according to the proposals on restructure of the International Cricket Council (ICC). The meeting welcomed the proposals pertaining to the distribution of the ICC revenue, the largest share of which should come the BCCI’s way.
The members have also endorsed the ‘Position Paper’ containing the draft of the ICC restructure and empowered the office-bearers to take necessary measures. “The committee discussed at length the proposals of the ICC working group and felt that this proposal was in the interest of cricket at large. The committee unanimously authorised the office bearers to enter into agreements with ICC for participating in the ICC events and host ICC events, subject to the proposal being approved in the ICC board,” the BCCI said in a release.
CASE AGAINST KIADB
The BCCI is worried that Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) is not returning Rs 50 crore that was given to them for the purchase of a piece of land where the board wanted to set up a state-of-theart cricket academy. Now that the land cannot be sold to the BCCI, for obvious legal and technical reasons, the BCCI wants money back from the KIADB. It has been learnt that letters have been exchanged with KIADB and at the working committee it was decided that the BCCI have to resort to legal recourse. Informed a member, who attended the meeting: “There was a detailed discussion over the matter. It was felt that the board should file a court case. We’re awaiting an advice from the legal cell. We’ll act upon their advice promptly.”