Thatscricket- Cricket News - Sharjah: BCCI hopeful of Govt approval

Published: Wednesday, January 3, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai: With the government refusing to budge from the decision of not permitting the cricket team to tour Pakistan, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials are hopeful that the national squad would participate in the triangular tournament at Sharjah in April.Apart from India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are participating in the tourney. BCCI secretary J Y Lele told the 'Gulf News' ''We hope the team will be cleared for the event'', scheduled to start on April 4. He said government'sclearance was a must for all overseas tours.Mr Lele's comments came amid press reports that India have refused to take part in a tri-nation tournament in Malaysia because Pakistan are also competing.The Indian government has refused to permit the cricket team to tour Pakistan, saying there was no point in having sporting links with a country which is promoting terrorism on the Indian soil. However, it is to be seen whether the Indian team will be allowed to take part in the tournament at Sharjah, which is a neutral venue.Both India and Pakistan have a three-year contract with the Cricketers' Benefit Fund Series (CBFS), the organisers of tournaments at Sharjah, for participating in the tournaments in the desert.The contract expires after the April tournament and the BCCI is yet to take a decision on whether it should be renewed.BCCI chief Dr A C Muthiah, who was in Sharjah in November for theAsian Cricket Foundation (ACF) meeting, was non-committal on whetherthe contract with the Sharjah cricket authorities would be renewed. He said a decision on the issue would be taken by the Working Committee of the Board.Meanwhile, Mr Lele refused to comment on the Australian team's Indian tour itinerary, which appeared in a section of the press. According to that itinerary, India play their last two One-dayers against Australia on April 3 at Pune and April 6 at Bangalore.But the Indian team is also scheduled to arrive in Sharjah onApril 3 for the tri-nation tournament, which begins the next day. ''I do not want to comment on this controversial issue'', Mr Lele said.UNI

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