Reluctance to host Pakistan may cost India the Asia Cup

After losing the Under-19 Asia Cup due to their reluctance to host Pakistan, India is in danger of losing the senior Asia Cup too. The tournament is supposed to be held in September next year, but the freeze in sporting ties with Pakistan seems to be getting worse by the day due to the political relations between the neighbouring countries.

As per the minutes of a meeting of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) on November 21, “it’s not clear whether the Government of India will allow the Pakistan team to travel to India for the tournament. If not, then the BCCI needs to inform the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) of the same so that an alternate host country can be finalised.”

“If we didn’t get the permission to host the Pakistan’s Under-19 team from the centre, it looks highly unlikely that we’ll get to do so in case of their senior team. The Pakistan athletes were given visas to take part in the Asian Athletics Championships, but the government says that cricket’s case is a bit different, since it has an emotional connect with people from both the countries. When we approached the government with a request, we didn’t get any response from them, but we need to decide fast since we need to inform the ACC soon. There are logistical, amongst many issues, involved with hosting a tournament and a country needs time to sort them out,” a BCCI official told TOI on Thursday (December 7).

Saba Karim to be next BCCI General Manager, Operations

Former India keeper-batsman Saba Karim, who also donned the commentator’s hat post retirement, will take over late MV Sridhar’s role as BCCI’s new General Manager, Operations. Karim, whose career was cut short abruptly in the year 2000, when he injured his right eye keeping to Anil Kumble during the Asia Cup at Dhaka, has been shortlisted from close to six CVs that had been submitted. The 50-year-old former player from Patna, who represented Jharkhand and Bengal in First Class cricket, will take up a role that requires constant monitoring of India’s vast cricket circuit, heading domestic as well as international operations and will report to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.

CoA to meet Dravid, Mithali

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) will meet batting great Rahul Dravid and current Indian women’s team captain Mithali Raj and former India player and selector Jatin Paranjape on December 12 in Bangalore to “discuss the organisation structure” of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). The CoA has also asked BCCI CEO Rahul Johri to come up with a presentation on the vision for the NCA.

Officials not happy with treatment of Ranji

Broadcaster Star Sports’ reluctance to telecast the Ranji Trophy this season doesn’t seem to have gone down well with quite a few senior board officials. While the games were only telecast on Hotstar in the league stage, the BCCI’s official broadcaster is showing the on-going quarterfinal between Mumbai and Karnataka on one of its new channels, Sports First.

“This is a huge concern for us. Not many people have access to Hotstar or are aware or have subscribed to this new channel. They should’ve telecast the match on one of their main channels. As per their contract, they’re supposed to show 72 days of domestic cricket, but they’re showing events like the Under-19 Challenger Trophy. It’s time the CoA acts tough on this. All this will factor in when Star bids for the next cycle of India’s cricket at home next year,” said a top official.

Selectors to be paid without services

The CoA has reversed its decision to terminate the contracts of former India players Gagan Khoda and Jatin Paranjape as national selectors from September 30. In a highly farcical situation, their appointment will now continue till the completion of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), but their services won’t be utilised, which means that they’ll be paid without having to pick any teams.

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