England tour of India - Cricket: Brit media slams ECB for confrontation with BCCI

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2001, 22:54 [IST]
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London: The English Board (ECB) chief Lord MacLaurin was under attack in the British media on Thursday for being confrontational towards Indian cricket authorities after noting he probably dragged England into the Virender Sehwag controversy before it needed to come into the picture.Media reports said England's tour of India looked in real danger of cancellation after BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya refused to meet Friday's deadline to pull out Virendra Sehwag out of the first Test in Mohali next Monday.While blaming Dalmiya for this war of brinksmanship that could put the series at risk, the media did not spare MacLaurin either saying, 'he has probably dragged England into the tussle between the ICC and the BCCI before they needed to be involved."MacLaurin once again allowed emotions to get the better of him. By being confrontational, he has broken the first rule of negotiation and later the ECB realising it was still an ICC matter, somewhat delicately poised, sought to distance itself from his views," wrote the "Independent".Commenting that MacLaurin's outbursts were not "particularly helpful", the "Guardian" said the ECB officials were "privately horrified to discover their own loose cannon (MacLaurin) wheeling himself into the firing line". In a snub to MacLaurin, the paper said it would have been certainly advisable for him to have remembered Sehwag's name when he chose to speak out on Wednesday threatening that England will not play against a team with a banned cricketer in it. "We are there (in India) to play Test cricket and we support the ICC in that this gentleman has to be suspended for one Test match, so the gentleman concerned has a one-match ban to sit out," MacLaurin said.Media reports also said that "diplomatic efforts" were still being made to save the tour even though England was determined to pull out of the first Test at Mohali, and most likely the series, should Dalmiya and the ICC not cobble together an increasingly unlikely truce.The Sehwag affairs has escalated into the issue upon which Dalmiya and the ICC's chief executive Malcolm Speed have staked their political survival, a battle for control of the game that is heading for a furious climax at an ICC Executive Board meeting in Colombo in March 2002.The "Telegraph" said the BCCI-ICC row would not only wreck the forthcoming three-Test series between India and England but also threaten India's tour of England in 2002. The "Times said the Test series is now "left hanging by a thread". It however said the "single cause for hope" that emerged in Speed's remarks is that he would "continue to talk to Mr Dalmiya and his board with the aim of securing confirmation before Friday's deadline that Sehwag will not play",PTI

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