Calcutta: The International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken a wait-and-watch stand on the sensitive Ajay Jadeja issue.
Though banned for five years (beginning December 2000) by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), for being involved in match-fixing, the Delhi High Court — through an ex-parte order on May 28 — allowed the allrounder to play “domestic cricket.”
Armed with that order, Jadeja participated in a local tournament in the capital last week. That meet, of course, wasn’t even conducted by the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association, which is affiliated to the BCCI, but it did mark the former (stand-in) one-day national captain’s return to ‘action’.
“It would have become sticky had the Court acted during any of the BCCI-run events… The pressure, then, would have been enormous… Thankfully, the order came in the off-season,” remarked a well-placed source.
That, indeed, is probably one reason why the international fraternity hasn’t reacted. Not that people aren’t in the know about some of Jadeja’s powerful backers.
As for the ICC, a spokesman had this to tell The Telegraph Friday afternoon: “We’re aware of the order, but aren’t getting involved as it is limited to domestic matches. At this stage, the issue is best handled by the BCCI. But, yes, we will have something to say if international cricket comes into the picture.”
The ICC, it may be recalled, was quick to appreciate the BCCI’s action against the allrounder (and Mohammed Azharuddin, as well) and, in the past couple of years, has actually taken firm steps to eliminate match-fixing.
For its part, the BCCI is awaiting legal opinion on whether or not to challenge the order before a vacation bench of the Delhi High Court. While declining to intercede, the Supreme Court has allowed the BCCI to do just that.
Significantly, the BCCI has already challenged arbitrator Justice (retd) K.K. Mehra’s award in Jadeja’s favour and its appeal (before the Delhi High Court) will be heard on July 8.
It’s possible, therefore, that the BCCI will focus on that hearing and not simultaneously move on the ex-parte order. Had the (official) domestic season been on, it would surely have acted on all fronts.