| Jagmohan Dalmiya
Calcutta, July 10: In a remarkable development, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya has been nominated to the Contracts Committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
It’s to be seen, though, how well this is received by the world body’s commercial partners till the 2007 World Cup — Global Cricket Corporation (GCC).
The GCC, it may be recalled, has sought $ 54 million as damages — almost wholly on account of the Indian cricketers’ refusal to sign the original Player Terms for the 2002 Champions Trophy and the 2003 World Cup.
Within the ICC, that claim is being handled by the Contracts Committee and, so, the hawkish Dalmiya’s presence is significant.
Having battled the world body for almost two years on the contracts issue, Dalmiya (a former ICC chief) has now been assigned an official role.
If anything, he is expected to bargain harder.
The Dalmiya-development was revealed by president Ehsan Mani during a telephonic chat with The Telegraph from London.
“We were keen that he come on board… I’m happy he agreed,” Mani, a longtime friend of Dalmiya, said.
The request to “come on board” was made at the world body’s recent AGM in London.
Besides Mani (and Dalmiya), others on the Contracts Committee are: ICC vice-president Percy Sonn, chief executive Malcolm Speed, Cricket Australia chairman Bob Merriman and the Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond’s Rene van Ierschot.
If the damages bit isn’t resolved across the board, the world body and GCC will head for arbitration in Lausanne.
That obviously is going to be expensive, which is why the ICC has withheld around $ one million of the guarantee money due to each of the ten Test-playing nations for the last World Cup.
If needed, the sum held back will be utilised to meet costs specific to the arbitration process.
Meanwhile, India’s hosting of the 2006 Champions Trophy is dependent on the tax concessions allowed by New Delhi.
Apparently, the BCCI did have “some discussion” with the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. However, with a change of guard, the process has to be started afresh — and, quickly.
As a source put it: “It’s important to know the Manmohan Singh government’s thoughts…”
Incidentally, besides interacting with BCCI members during his visit to New Delhi next week, Mani could have a meeting with government mandarins.
If the 2006 edition is held in India, the world body’s organising committee may well be headed by Dalmiya, whose term as BCCI chief ends this September.