ICC mull 8 teams for Champions Trophy: Mani

Published: Sunday, March 20, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Kolkata:International Cricket Council is considering to change the format of the 2006 Champions Trophy making it an eight-team event to maintain the high-standard of the game.

ICC President Ehsan Mani said in the new format only top eight teams will compete rather than 10 or 12 teams.

"By the very name, it should be champions' trophy. We are looking at the possibility of playing top eight teams rather than 10 or 12 sides," Mani, who is here to watch the second Test between India and Pakistan, told reporters today.

Admitting that the standard of the tournament was "diluted" in the last edition played in England, Mani said in the new format the hosts and other top four sides would get direct entry while the other three places would be filled up through a qualifying round to be played between remaining countries.

On the issue of tax exemption, the ICC president said he had met Finance Minister P Chidambaram last month and he felt that the Indian government was being sympathetic to BCCI's request.

But in case the issue was not resolved, the high-profile tournament would be shifted to Pakistan to be played during September-October, 2006.

Mani, who was accompanied by BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra, however, added "there is no threat from ICC to the Indian Board, we have only asked for tax exemption for the tournament".

In this context, the ICC president drew the instances of other sporting events like the Formula I Grand Prix, Olympics and Commonwealth Games, saying that no taxes are paid to the governments for hosting these events.

Asked about the growing popularity of the new format of the 20:20 game, Mani said ICC was not in favour of diluting the 50-over ODI format, which "is the life blood" of contemporary cricket.

"20:20 is a new format. It is played at some levels in England and Australia, but not at the national level. But in India, sponsors wonder as to what that is," he said adding "It (20:20) lacks technique."

On bowlers with suspect bowling actions, Mani said the apex cricket body was giving the bowlers chance of rectifying their actions rather than causing any harm to their careers.

In this context, he said the reports on the bowling action of Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has been sent for the second time to Australian expert Bruce Willis.

The ICC chief, though concerned about diluted standards of high-profile tournaments due to participation of weaker teams, said that Bangladesh's Test status was not in jeopardy despite the country's below par performance in the game.

"Once a country is given the Test status, it is always a Test playing country," he said adding ICC was trying to help the country improve its standards by sending high-profile managers.

Read more about: kolkata, news, thatscricketcom, march 20
Write Comments