With international cricket and International Cricket Council (ICC) being in a state of flux, more so after the resignation of Chairman Shashank Manohar, the talk is now of the Asian unity.Efforts are being initiated to revive the long-defunct Asian Bloc consisting of the full members of the sub-continent.
The first step towards this comes with a meeting of all four boards Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and even Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) -this month-end. The meeting is scheduled to take place in Dubai tentatively on March 28 where Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) could possibly be a special invitee.
According sources from Colombo, where there was a meeting recently of four boards (minus the PCB but including ZC), the efforts to revive the subcontinental bloc is aimed at protecting the region's interest in the ICC. This was the body that had managed to end the England-Australia hegemony in world cricket in the late 90s under the stewardship of late Jagmohan Dalmiya and the need for this has been realized lately, particularly after the BCCI got outnumbered in the last ICC meeting.
The Dubai meeting is mainly to get Pakistan back into the fold as the PCB had missed out on last week's Colombo conclave and there is also a sense of realization among the managers of the Asian boards about the virtues of regional unity. There will be discussions over bilateral series, particularly about India-Pakistan cricket (this year-end) but the BCCI and PCB will leave it to the respective governments without needlessly being jingoistic. The Asian boards may also propose the name of an Asian in the ICC chairman's election, expected to take place in the next few months.
Meanwhile, it is back to courtroom for the BCCI (headed by a Committee of Administrators) and former current members of the states. Today, the Supreme Court will hear a slew of petitions from the state units about the need to hold an SGM on the ICC matters, pleas over non-applicability of the Lodha reforms, the COA's requests for clarifications on the states' demand for advance payment to stage the IPL matches and above all there will be applications on the new constitution `finalised' by the COA.
The states are yet to sign on the dotted lines over stadium agreements for the IPL matches but news from the states is that the final decision will be taken after today Supreme Court hearingorder. The BCCICOA says that payment (Rs 30 lakh for each match) cannot be advanced to the states because of the binding order from the Supreme Court. A lot of clarity is expected to emerge after today's hearing and in that sense, it is yet another D-Day for the BCCI members.
Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror