Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Dalmiya keen to meet Sports Minister
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2001, 23:25 [IST]
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Kolkata: The newly elected president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Jagmohan Dalmiya on Monday said that he would meet Union Sports Minister Uma Bharti, soon to discuss cricketing relations with Pakistan which has been snapped since the Kargil conflict in 1999.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"We only organise cricket matches, but it is the government which has the final word on whether India can participate in tournaments involving Pakistan. I would like to interact with her," Dalmiya told reporters.Only a month ago the Centre had refused permission to the Indian cricket team to participate in the second edition of the Asian Test Championship in Pakistan. The decision had been taken barely a week before the start of the tournament. Dalmiya said the BCCI would always respect the government's decision which has its own yardsticks for judging the situation but the Board should be given sufficient time to convey the decision to the organisers."It is the government which decides whether it is good to play with somebody or not. But we will appreciate if it is informed to us little early since a lot of other things are involved," he said.Stressing that the Board and the government were in the 'best of terms', the new president said, "The government should give us sufficient time since the international calendar is full. Otherwise, we tend to get isolated".Dalmiya said a lot of parapharnelia was involved in organising cricket matches like sponsors, selling TV rights, tickets and instadia advertisements and it will, therefore help the Board if the decision comes early. Asked whether the previous management team headed by his predecessor A C Muthiah did not interact much with government, Dalmiya quipped, "I can't say how much they interacted with the government, or whether they interacted at all."On whether the Union government had gone back on its earlier commitment to allow the Indian team to take part in the Asian Test Championship, Dalmiya said that it was entirely the prerogative of the government as to what policy it would follow.Dalmiya, who is also the chairman of the Asian Cricket Foundation, the implementing arm of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), declined to discuss whether the government decision to snap cricketing ties with Pakistan was right or wrong."Since I am now the president of the Indian Cricket Board, it is not proper for me to discuss it. We are keen to interact more with the government," he said.He said that the Indian government had earlier banned sporting relations with South Africa because of its apartheid policy and no cricket was played with that country for a long time."It was a decision taken by the government considering the situation then. When the situation improved, sporting ties were allowed to continue," Dalmiya explained.Cricketing ties with Pakistan were severed after the Kargil conflict leading to the cancellation of the annual Sahara Cup series in Canada and some other multilateral tournaments. The government also banned India's participationin tournaments in Sharjah. PTI