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Thatscricket - News - Government may have been irked by ACC: Muthiah

Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Chennai: Government's decision not to allow Indian team to play against Pakistan in an Asian Test Championship match in Karachi might have been prompted by the threat from Asian Cricket Council that it would go ahead with the tournament even without the participation of India, cricket Board president A C Muthiah said on Wednesday.[an error occurred while processing this directive] "I suspect that the government was irked by the ACC threat that the tournament would be held without India," Muthiah said.Jagmohan Dalmiya, chairman of Asian Cricket Foundation, which implements ACC programmes, had said on August 16 that the ATC would go ahead as scheduled even if India does not participate in it. Dalmiya had given time till Thursday (August 23) for the cricket Board to confirm its participation.Muthiah, however said he could not say with certainty what the actual reason for the government decision was. "We do not know the exact reason for it and cannot react without knowing the reasons for non-clearance (of the team to play in Pakistan)," he said. "But we are at a loss to understand why the team has not been cleared for a multi-lateral tournament." In an earlier decision, the government had said it had no problems in Indian team playing against Pakistan in multi-lateral tournaments at 'regular venues' and the ban was restricted to bilateral series between the two countries. ATC is technically a multi-lateral tournament involving Sri Lanka and Bangladesh besides India and Pakistan and was being played at venues approved by International Cricket Council.Muthiah said the cricket Board would abide by government guidelines in matters of foreign tours by Indian team. "For maintaining the sovereignty of the country, the Board will abide by the government's decision," he said. He was non-committal on withdrawing from the ACC in case the tournament was held without India's participation. "There have been such feelings among senior board members. All these matters of interest to Indian cricket will be discussed at the Working Committee meeting in Mumbai this week and at the Annual General Meeting next month," he said. PTI

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