The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blow to Fica push for recognition
- All Asian Test-playing nations oppose presence

Calcutta: The push by the Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (Fica) for formal recognition from the International Cricket Council (ICC) received a setback Monday.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, the ICC board, which met in Colombo during the day, rejected a proposal to give Fica a seat on the powerful cricket committee — management.

One learns all four Test-playing nations from Asia — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — voted against Fica’s entry. South Africa, too, went along with the quartet.

Clearly, this is a victory of sorts for Board of Control for Cricket in India president Jagmohan Dalmiya, who has consistently had misgivings about Fica — especially, “its agenda.”

With half the Test-playing nations opposed to its presence, there’s a definite lesson for Fica: While continuing to plead for greater communication between the Establishment and cricketers, it must itself evolve means of interacting with the five who gave the thumbs-down.

It’s not insignificant, perhaps, that except Sri Lanka, the other Asian nations don’t have associations affiliated to Fica. As for South Africa, the unit there came up fairly recently.

For any motion to be carried in the board, the support of six/seven of the ten Test-playing (Full) members is mandatory. A motion with financial overtones requires seven, while a simple majority (six) will suffice for the rest.

As it turned out, there was a five-five split, making irrelevant the three Associates’ backing for Fica.

In keeping with the composition of the ICC board, all Test-playing nations plus nominees of three Associates have a seat on the cricket committee — management. Usually, either the chief executive/secretary attends meetings.

In the recent past, of course, Fica was “invited” to depute a representative for one of the cricket committee — playing meetings. Only, while that’s a technical body, the cricket committee — management is the one with influence.

Meanwhile, the focus now shifts to Tuesday’s IDI (commercial arm of the ICC) board meeting, again in Colombo. Predictably, much of the attention will be on what is decided about the Player Terms, particularly for the World Cup.

If the Asian solidarity continues, it’s quite likely that India’s call for tabling the (marketing/TV rights) agreement with Global Cricket Corporation will be supported by the three other Test-playing nations from the region.

According to a well-placed source, the “strategy” should be finalised during the post-Champions Trophy dinner Monday.

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