The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Legal eagles take guard in big fight

Calcutta: The legal eagles have already come into play in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)-International Cricket Council (ICC) stand-off over the Player Terms.

Though the national selectors picked the World Cup XV on Monday, the BCCI followed advice and delayed officially intimating the IDI Ltd (business arm of the ICC) by 24 hours.

“This was wholly influenced by legal opinion… We were told the official intimation should not be conveyed on the very day we moved for non-binding mediation. Accordingly, secretary S.K.Nair informed the IDI Ltd on Tuesday,” a well-placed BCCI source told The Telegraph.

Apparently, this delay is meant to convey that the Participating Nation Agreement, of which the Terms is an annexure, is not recognised by the BCCI. It’s for this reason that president Jagmohan Dalmiya went public with the mediation bit (on Monday) before Nair announced the XV.

Drama over Mongia

Meanwhile, Dinesh Mongia — preferred over V.V.S. Laxman for the World Cup — will be leaving for Singapore (en route to New Zealand) after much drama, early on Wednesday.

Mongia is going as an additional player, largely to get into shape for the sport’s biggest event.

With New Zealand’s High Commission, in New Delhi, closed for Christmas and New Year, the BCCI requested New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to assist in at least arranging for Mongia’s visa on arrival.

Surprisingly, NZC lobbed the ball back, suggesting Mongia be sent after January 2/3, once the High Commission reopened.

That, of course, would have made Mongia ineligible for the fourth ODI (Queenstown, January 4), too. India, by the way, are trailing 0-2 in the seven-match series.

Faced with such non-cooperation, the BCCI asked manager Nathu Ram Choudhary to get into the act. The latter, it is learnt, contacted Indian diplomats for much of Tuesday and, eventually, the Indian High Commission (in Wellington) was able to do the needful.

First came the fines on Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh, immediately on arrival in Auckland. Then, the sub-standard wickets. And, now, the (initial) indifference over Mongia…

If not anything else, the red carpet ought not to be blindly rolled out during New Zealand’s tour of India in late 2003.

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