ICC assures IPL a separate window

Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Dubai: An annaul window for the Indian Premier League would be possible from next year, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed admitted on Friday, although he warned cricketing nations the schedule of the billion-dollar Twenty20 tournament should not dictate the international fixtures.

After revelations in Saturday's Herald that subcontinent boards were keen to have a six-week gap worked into the international calendar from next year so all players can take part in the IPL, Speed said the concept would be approved if supported by seven member nations of the ICC, although it would extremely difficult to negotiate.

The future tours program (FTP), which maps out international matches for all countries until 2012, would have to be rearranged and cleared of fixtures from early April to mid-May when the IPL will be played from next year.

"Countries could agree to move their tours," Speed said. "This would be permitted by ICC if it can be achieved without having a flow-on effect for any other tour or ICC event. For the members to agree that there is to be a permanent window in the international schedule, for the IPL, which is a domestic competition, seven full members would need to vote in favour of it.

"There are several possible benefits that may emerge from IPL. I have been critical in the past of BCCI's failure to exploit the commercial power of India's remarkable passion for the game. Time will tell whether the IPL has a positive or negative effect on the game."

However, Speed foreshadowed several problems in moving scheduled tour games around and reminded members that the Board of Control for Cricket in India apart, there would be no income for them from the tournament.

"International cricket is the lifeblood of the ICC members. Apart from India, they do not receive any financial reward from the IPL," Speed said. "It is a paramount consideration for them that they maintain their international schedules and play at the times that suit them best.

"International cricketers have been coached and developed by their home countries, states, provinces, counties and clubs. They are in demand by IPL teams because they are international cricketers. Their primary duty is to their country."

It has been suggested that it would be futile for Speed, who leaves the post in July, to block the IPL move as his successor would more than likely overturn the decision.

IPL co-founder Inderjit Singh Bindra has been tipped as the favourite to become ICC chief executive role, and he said on Saturday that a yearly space on the cricket calendar would have to be organised if the majority of members requested it.


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