ICL on ICC agenda
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) board meets in Perth on Saturday with the key item on its agenda being an application for recognition from the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
However, the issue is unlikely to reach a resolution over the weekend; it is learnt the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will once again dig in its heels and continue to back a ban on the unauthorised Twenty20 venture.
The board members will also discuss preparations for the Champions Trophy to be held in September, an internal report on Zimbabwe and international fixtures after 2012.
The ICL issue, however, may not dominate discussions as previously expected, considering the BCCI's hardline position. "Our position on ICL remains the same," a top BCCI official told Cricinfo. "We see no reason for that to change."
Debate over the ICL gathered pace this week after the Pakistan Cricket Board received a legal notice against a domestic ban it had imposed on players associated with the private league. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had, under the previous administration last year, allowed five of its ICL-linked players to participate in a domestic tournament.
The ICL's request for recognition is based on an ICC rule that allows matches of an 'exhibition/testimonial' nature to be granted approval directly by the world body. However, the BCCI and other national boards are firm that such permission cannot be granted in this case without the home board's approval.
The ICC subsequently formed a five-member working group to study the rules that govern official and unofficial cricket. This group, including Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, and Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, has since prepared a set of draft regulations that includes stricter norms, especially on unofficial cricket.
The ICC board members will also discuss the way forward for international cricket after the current Future Tours Programme (FTP) gets over in three years. India and England have already opposed a proposal from Australia that the Future Tours Programme (FTP) be replaced by a Test Championship.
Preparations for the Champions Trophy this year will be the other key subject of discussion over the weekend. The tournament is scheduled to be held from September 24 to October 5 in Pakistan, subject to a security clearance. The event was originally scheduled to be held last year in the same country but was postponed after ICC members expressed concerns about the then security situation there.
The executive will also consider a report from an ICC panel, headed by Julian Hunte, the West Indies cricket board chief, on Zimbabwe following his visit last November which was conducted against the background of the cholera outbreak and the continuing breakdown of the economy. Peter Chingoka, the Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, won't be at the meeting after he refused to apply for a visa to enter Australia.