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2007 World Cup format tops agenda at ICC meeting
- Logistics could be a handful during the West Indies edition of showpiece event

Mumbai: The format for the 2007 World Cup, in the West Indies, tops the agenda for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) Cricket Committee-Management meeting at the CCI on Thursday-Friday.

A good many other issues are to be deliberated and the setting, really, couldn’t have been better. Indeed, while the CCI hasn’t hosted a Test for three decades, it’s not insignificant that the ICC chose to meet at the institution’s Cooch Behar Room and not anywhere else. Understandably, CCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur is pleased as punch.

To revert to the agenda, it’s understood that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will be calling upon the ICC to extend the 10-year programme by two years. Also, it will be insisting that the bonus points’ recommendation be reviewed.

In terms of listing on the agenda, The Telegraph’s sources feel that the following should dominate discussions:

Format of the 2007 World Cup: Though the event is four years away, there are concerns over logistics as the West Indies comprises a number of nations. “The whole thing is complicated,” acknowledged a well-placed source. Also, nobody is quite sure whether the tournament should have 14 teams (as was so this year) or the number be limited to 12.

The 2004 Champions Trophy in England: The event, to be held in September, will see 12 teams. As the weather could play spoilsport, the rained-off days issue could take up much time.

The proposed ICC Super Series: Slated to be introduced from 2005, the Super Series will be a four-match affair: One five-day game between the (ICC) top-ranked Test team and Rest of World and three matches between the No. 1-placed team in ODIs and Rest of World. There has been talk of having the Super Series every two years, but it’s likely that an agreement will be reached on staging it every four years — that way, it won’t clash with the World Cup and Champions Trophy. As reported in these columns, the ICC will recommend that the four games get official status.

The ICC national champions’ tournament: A proposal has been placed to finally get it going.

The ICC Annual Awards dinner: May start from 2004. However, the ICC is keen that the show is “very different” from the awards handed out by institutions and corporates. Besides presentations for the best Test and one-day teams, there will (among other categories) be awards for the best Test and one-day players.

The “consequences” of teams forfeiting matches: It’s likely that the debate will continue beyond the meeting here.

Volume of cricket: The issue will again be discussed. The BCCI, for example, wants the much talked about 10-year programme to be spread over 12 years.

The recognition of player associations: Twice in the past year, the ICC’s Executive Board has said “no” to recognising the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (Fica). It’s to be seen how this meeting “responds.” Apparently, even New Zealand is now opposed to that body. India, of course, has always been a hardliner.

The anti-doping policy: Details of the ICC’s deliberations with the international anti-doping body, Wada, will be placed before the chief executives.

Illegal bowling actions: One learns not all member-nations are happy with the current procedure of allowing a bowler with suspect action to undergo a corrective process monitored by his home Board. As of now, the ICC comes into the picture only if he is called a second time. Can this procedure be improved' That will be debated.

Broadcast protocols: While the ICC doesn’t want to be “prescriptive,” it does wish to impress on the electronic media that umpires will — like other humans — make mistakes and that a series of replays (after a controversial decision) don’t exactly help the umpire.

Bonus points in tournaments involving three or more teams: The BCCI has opposed an ICC recommendation that a team which loses without conceding a bonus point be awarded one point and that a team which loses and concedes a bonus point not be penalised. In the BCCI’s view, no point should be awarded in the first instance and one point be docked when a team loses and concedes a bonus point. For a winning team to garner that bonus, it must score at a run -rate which is 1.25 times of the opposition.

Whatever is decided upon on Thursday-Friday, will be tabled before the ICC’s Executive Board, which next meets in Barbados (end-October).

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