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Sight Screen

Friday, December 16, 2005

Silver lining

Between October 25 and December 22, India was scheduled to play 12 ODIs and three Tests (that an ODI, and a Test, were washed out means zip; the team still had to travel around, and turn up at the ground).
On January 7, the team was to begin its warm up game on Pakistan soil; by February 3rd, it was scheduled to have played three gruelling Tests. On March 1, it would then face at home the upwardly mobile, if currently embarassed, England in another crucial encounter.
Some bright spark -- let's not name names -- in the previous administration decided that none of this constituted sufficient excitement; what the team really needed to get the adrenalin flowing was a one-day roustabout that would involve, besides Pakistan and Sri Lanka (What, again? The two teams might as well get married, the amount of time they've been spending with each other), the likes of Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. That, of course, would have been ideal preparation for taking on an England side that, following its thrashing in Pakistan, will likely come to India seeking redemption.
Mercifully, the start of the Pak tour was earlier pushed back to build in some down time after the end of the Lanka series; now comes word the Asia Cup has been scotched.
BTW, notice it is Dungarpur holding discussions with the ICC president and with the PCB chief? Signs of the delegation-style leadership Sharad Pawar favors, as opposed to the l'etat c'est moi mindset of the erstwhile patron-in-chief? Time will tell, on that one.
PostScript: Spoke too soon; apparently Singapore Sports Association and Kuwait Cricket Association want the Asia Cup to be held on schedule.
n a faxed letter to Mr Pawar, Singapore Cricket Association(SCA) President Imran H Khwaja said, ''I would like to point out that the ACC has in its meetings in the recent past agreed to hold the Asia Cup, agreed to the dates and entered into contractual obligations with third parties, including ESPN. In the case of the latter, we have even performed this contract by accepting part payment.'' ''Any departure by us from holding the Asia Cup on the agreed dates would be a breach of contract which would expose us to substantial damages,'' the letter read.
''The attendant consequences of a "postponement" are dire and unacceptable not only to the Board personally, but also the membership and our integrity,'' Imran said.

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