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Exemption-time ticking away for ACC
- SECOND FUND-RAISER
- Lahore, Dhaka may come into the picture as an alternative for Calcutta

Calcutta: The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) may not wait beyond Monday for a response from New Delhi to its request that the second tsunami fund-raiser, set to be hosted by the Eden, gets tax exemption.

The responsibility for that match ' again between the International Cricket Council (ICC) XI and Asia XI ' rests with the ACC. The first, at the MCG on Monday, was overseen by the ICC.

Tax exemption is an ICC requirement.

According to The Telegraph's sources, the ACC will almost surely have to look at alternatives if New Delhi doesn't revert by 'Monday evening.'

The ACC, after all, is pressed for time.

Subject to a favourable response from the powers-that-be in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Lahore and Dhaka can emerge hot alternatives.

As with the first, the second fund-raiser has ODI status.

The ACC formally moved New Delhi when its president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, and Union sports minister Sunil Dutt met finance supremo P.Chidambaram on Tuesday.

Significantly, to ensure the participation of the Australians and New Zealanders, the match is going to be held between February 11-13 and not 15.

'The Ricky Pontings and Stephen Flemings are big names as are the Chris Cairns' and Adam Gilchrists' So, they have to be around,' explained one of the sources during a brief interaction on Saturday.

The Australians and New Zealanders won't be available if the fund-raiser is on February 15 as Australia's first engagement in New Zealand is on February 17. Even if that's a Twenty20 match, in Auckland, the first of five ODIs is as early as February 19 (Wellington).

The ICC XI, however, will again be without any of the England or South African players who are going to feature in the seven ODIs which begin soon after the ongoing Test series ends.

In fact, the last England-South Africa ODI, in Centurion, is on February 13.

The Asians, therefore, won't have to contend with the Jacques Kallis' and Andrew Flintoffs. Actually, even without them, the ICC XI was more than a handful (at the MCG) for the Sourav Ganguly-led Asia.

Monday's precedent-setting fund-raiser No.1, it may be recalled, raised over (Aus.) $ 14.5 million. The entire amount went to a pre-selected charity, World Vision.

At this moment, though, it's unlikely that World Vision will be the beneficiary of the second match as well.

Footnote: Should New Delhi not grant exemption even now, it's going to be difficult for India to stage the 2006 Champions Trophy. The ICC, as is known, doesn't want a rupee/dollar deducted. Neither now nor then.

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