Kolkata: In a bid to resolve the contentious players' contract issue a crucial meeting between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) will be held on Monday to find a way out prior to the World Cup in February. Giving this information Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the BCCI, said ICC would be represented by Justice Ahmed Ebrahim of Zimbabwe and its general manager (Cricket) Dave Richardson. Justice Ebrahim and Richardson are expected to reach Kolkata in the early hours of Monday.
The BCCI would be represented by Dalmiya and senior cricketer Anil Kumble, who has not gone with the India team to New Zealand making himself unavailable for the two-Test series in the first half of the tour. This would be first direct interaction between ICC and BCCI on the issue which had threatened to scuttle the September's ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka and the world governing body had to concede some concessions to Indian players to ensure their participation. The same players' terms would be applicable for the World Cup as well and the Indian board has conveyed to the ICC the concerns of its top cricketers.
Both Dalmiya and Justice Ebrahim are the members of a six-member empowered committee of the ICC to resolve the issue well in time so that it should not affect the smooth conduct of the World Cup scheduled to begin on February nine in South Africa. The meeting between ICC and BCCI is being held in the wake of an inter-action between Dalmiya and top Indian cricketers at the Kolkata airport last Monday just before the Indian team left for its New Zealand tour. Dalmiya said that the representation of BCCI for the crucial meeting at administrative and players level was worked out during his discussions with the top cricketers.
He had discussed the matter with skipper Saurav Ganguly, vice-captain Rahul Dravid and senior player Sachin Tendulkar and assured them that their interest would be protected. "I re-assured them that BCCI stands firm on the (players') terms review and that their (players) interest will be protected," the BCCI president had said after the meeting. According to information available the BCCI has already raised the players' concerns in its submission to the ICC in late October. It had been done after the world governing body asked all the cricket Boards to give written submissions concerning any problems that their players might have with the Players Terms.
In fact ICC has also shown its keenness to resolve the issue. In this connection its chief executive officer, Malcolm Speed, had comedown to New Delhi on November 20 to hold a detailed discussion with Dalmiya in this regard. While stressing that it was not an 'easy task' to resolve the issue, Speed had conceded that the Indian players were the most affected and that after his discussion with Dalmiya he had a better understanding of the problem.