England tour of India - Cricket: ICC president, CEO offer to meet Dalmiya

Published: Friday, November 30, 2001, 1:58 [IST]
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London: In a last ditch effort to break the deadlock, the International Cricket Council (ICC) president Malcolm Gray and chief executive Malcolm Speed on Thursday offered to fly to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.The ICC has proposed a meeting at this neutral venue on Saturday in a bid to reach a settlement ahead of the first Test between India and England at Mohali on Monday for which the ICC wants batsman Virender Sehwag to be dropped. The ICC has made a number of offers to Dalmiya with a view to find a way out of the deadlock resulting from the harsh punishments handed down by ICC match referee Mike Denness to Sachin Tendulkar and five other Indian players.Highly placed ICC sources said that they were awaiting Dalmiya's response to the offer for a meeting in the Malaysian capital. The offer of a meeting at Kuala Lumpur was made in the course of intense discussions between Gray and Speed, both of whom are here, and the BCCI chief who is in Kolkata, the sources said.The Malaysian capital had been suggested as a neutral venue although the distance between London and New Delhi is shorter, they said. The ICC's offer was cited by the sources as being reflective of the governing body's desire to resolve the situation. However, ICC appears to be in no mood to compromise on its stand that Sehwag should not play in Monday's Test against England to serve the one Test ban given by Denness. The ICC's offers were intended to end the crisis that has engulfed cricket following India's tough stand on the punishments given by Denness. The solutions offered by ICC remained a closely guarded secret but sources said that the governing body wanted a honourable way out for both sides.Observers see the fact that both Gray and Speed were willing to travel all the way to Kuala Lumpur as a positive development after hard posturing on both sides.Tendulkar's exoneration from ball tampering charges is seen as another positive factor, which could help cool down the temperatures. PTI

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