Nothing tangible from BCCI meeting

Written by: S K Sham
Published: Monday, August 21, 2000, 0:00 [IST]
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The play-acting and the ducking game indulged in by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, from the time that the betting and match-fixing controversy first came into the open, hasn't fooled anyone, much less the public and the investigating authorities.

The ramifications of the Working Committee meeting held on Sunday must surely provide an anti-climax to the apex cricket body's activities, which have hovered between the sinister and the indecisive.

The momentous meeting held at Bangalore, promised a lot, but actually achieved hardly anything tangible. Even the announcement of a new Code of Conduct was one more exercise of pulling wool over the eyes of those hell-bent on taking the ongoing investigation to its final conclusion.

The draft of the Code of Conduct, supposed to have been handled by a special three-member committee, had half-a-dozen other cooks as well to spoil the broth. That one of the extra members of the ad hoc committee happened to be an official whose premises were raided by the Income Tax authorities, not once but several times, will need a lot of explanation to be done when the draft is sent to the Sports ministry for final clearance.

The important question that comes to the fore at once is whether the draft of the new Code of Conduct will ever be sent to the government before or after it is placed before the general body?

There was great variance in what the officials spoke after the meeting. One let it known that the Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately. Another, a higher-up, said that the players will have to sign the same before October 1.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) knock-out tournament starts in Nairobi on October 3. A third member said that the Code of Conduct, as per the BCCI constitution, has to be approved by the general body, which is due to meet not before September 29. The confusion is worst confounded by another member of the Working Committee saying that the present draft is not a final one and some amendments are very much in the offing.

The most important and affective portions of an earlier draft relating to compulsion on the part of the players and officials to pass on information has not been included. The draft, as such, remains a faithful copy of the ICC's "Code of Conduct and Standard Playing Conditions and Other Rules and Regulations for Players and Officials," circulated in September 1999 to all member countries for guidance.

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