New Delhi, Feb 1: What do you know - M S Dhoni and Co. might continue to play for "India" after all. That's because, the Indian Sports Ministry and the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is all set to settle their dispute over the latter's registration to the National Sports Federation (NSF). Only as a member of the NSF and as a body which is in compliance with the associated laws of the land, will the BCCI legally be allowed to field a team under the banner "India".
On Tuesday, Feb 1, the Sports Minister Ajay Maken invited the BCCI to register itself as a national sport federation (NSF) with the ministry. Top BCCI officials - president Shashank Manohar, secretary N Srininvasan, vice-presidents Arun Jaitely and Rajiv Shukla, and Indian Premier League (IPL) CEO Sundar Raman - who have been at loggerheads with the ministry over the registration issue, had met the sports minister on Monday.
Maken said he had a conciliatory meeting with the board officials, who understood his point of view. "I had a good discussion with the cricket board officials whom I advised to register the entity as a national sports federation. I welcomed them to come and register as NSF and leave all the acrimony behind."
"The meeting was held in a very cordial environment and both parties listened to each other's concerns. They understood what I tried to say and hope this matter will get resolved soon," Maken told a press conference.
The Sports Ministry had de-recognised the BCCI last year as the apex cricket body in India following its refusal to register as a national sports federation. The board's main contention was that since it doesn't take any financial assistance from the ministry, it is not binding on them to follow the guidelines.
Following non-compliance of mandatory requirements, the government recently withdrew customs duty exemption on import of goods by the BCCI or bodies certified by it.
The ministry had informed the government that the BCCI has not complied with the mandatory requirements of submitting the necessary documents to the Government for annual recognition as a NSF.
Maken added that he is hopeful of an early solution as the BCCI meets all other requirements of the ministry.