The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Power shift shadow on Asia Cup
- New regime rethinks participation in tournament finalised by old guard

Chennai, Dec. 3: The new dispensation in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering withdrawing from the Asia Cup’s next edition, scheduled to be held in Pakistan between February 16 and 28 or March 1.

If that decision is taken, the tournament will have to be deferred ' perhaps indefinitely ' as organisers Asian Cricket Council (ACC) may not get fresh dates in the foreseeable future. In any case, they had a tough time finalising the existing ones.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the “official” reason for a rethink is that the players are going to be too tired for the home series against England if the Asia Cup commitment is met right after the bilateral engagements in Pakistan.

The first Test versus England begins on March 8.

However, the “unofficial” reason is that the tournament was finalised by Jagmohan Dalmiya, who today quit as the ACC president.

Also, that some currently at the helm in the BCCI possibly aren’t very comfortable with the commercial rights having been given to ESPN STAR Sports.

Whatever the truth, this rethink began just days after the BCCI elections which saw the end of Dalmiya’s reign and the coming to power of Union minister Sharad Pawar.

It’s not connected with the Asia Cup, but the new officials have straightaway proposed changes in the England-in-India itinerary.

That, expectedly, has come in for criticism.

Meanwhile, Dalmiya’s resignation will be placed before the ACC’s executive board which comprises presidents of the four Test-playing nations plus representatives of three associate members.

As an Indian nominee can be president till June, the BCCI may nominate Pawar. A fresh Indian face, in place of Ranbir Singh Mahendra, is also going to be needed on the executive board. It’s not necessary that Pawar must be the nominee there, too.

Dalmiya has also resigned as chairman of the Afro Asian Cricket Cooperation, set up with much fanfare seven months ago. Indeed, there’s now a question mark over the future of this joint venture between the ACC and the Africa Cricket Federation as vice-chairman Peter Chingoka (Zimbabwe) is in trouble with the authorities at home.

With Dalmiya not around, the joint venture could quickly become history. He got the chairmanship by virtue of being the ACC president. Chingoka headed the African body.

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