The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Official status possible, says Mani
- Tsunami fund-raisers

Calcutta: The possibility of both tsunami fund-raisers ' at the MCG on January 10 and probably at the Eden next month ' having official status has brightened with International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani himself indicating as much.

The limited overs matches will be played between the ICC XI and an Asia XI. The star-packed squads for January 10 have already been announced. While Sourav Ganguly is captaining Asia, Ricky Ponting is the ICC's top gun.

'It's unlikely that the MCG match is going to start as an ODI ' time, after all, is too short to push through a circular-motion. However, if seven of the ten Test-playing nations eventually agree, official status can be granted at a later date and the players' performances will feature in their career records,' the London-based Mani told The Telegraph when contacted on his cell on Tuesday evening.

Mani, though, said the second match could straightaway start as an ODI. 'There's sufficient time to deliberate,' he explained.

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) chief, Jagmohan Dalmiya, of course remains confident both matches are going to have official status. 'We've moved a formal proposal and I'm sure nobody will object,' he remarked.

Dalmiya, in any case, is known to cut through the red-tape not just on home turf but in the ICC as well.

Clearly, to make the matches competitive with a capital C, invite much wider interest and attract the biggest sponsors, it's necessary for both to be ODIs.

Significantly, official status for the two matches may impact on the ICC's high-profile Super Series, planned for October in Australia.

Anything out of the ordinary has to be approved by the world body's Executive Board at a formal sitting. In exceptional cases, a tele-conference or a circular-motion can also be resorted to.

For the record, the next Executive Board meeting is slated for March.

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