The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ICL unites Boards

Calcutta: Thanks to the Kapil Dev-headed Indian Cricket League (ICL), the Boards of the world have united.

It’s quite an achievement as they’ve often fought over who should be the next International Cricket Council (ICC) president and which country/region ought to host the World Cup.

Last year, for example, there was a row over the 2011 World Cup. Earlier this year, there had been major differences over the president-elect issue…

According to well-placed sources, the “discussion” on the ICL, during the chief executives’ meeting in Johannesburg on Monday-Tuesday, saw the Boards close ranks.

“We were quite clear that the ICL has to get the Indian Board’s recognition… The body affiliated to the ICC has to give its stamp of approval, for we can’t have a situation where individuals or industrial houses go around starting leagues,” one of the chief executives told The Telegraph.

Asked whether Indian Board secretary Niranjan Shah made a formal presentation, running down the ICL, he replied: “Not really… All of us have been following the ICL, we know what’s going on…”

An International Cricket Council (ICC) spokesman pointed out that the chief executives “didn’t have to take any decision” on the ICL — the world body’s stand is that its emergence is an “internal matter” for the Indian Board — and that the discussion was largely to “share information.”

It’s debatable whether the ICC would’ve allowed the Zee-promoted ICL to present its side of the story had a request been made by, say, Kapil.

The spokesman added that till Wednesday evening, there had been “absolutely no communication” from the ICL.

Besides the chief executives/Board secretaries of the ten Test-playing nations, three Associate Members (Hong Kong, Ireland, Namibia) were also represented.

That many of the Boards will have a presence in New Delhi on Thursday, when Sharad Pawar (among other things) unveils plans to counter the ICL, reinforces that even the semblance of a threat from any quarter is reason enough to bury differences.

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