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Meeting turns into 20 minute farce

Talks between the BCCI and the ICL ended inconclusively, as officials from both sides confirmed, putting in jeopardy, the Essel Group backed league’s bid for official recognition.

In it’s statement the BCCI did not offer any reason. BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said that the two sides ‘failed to arrive at a common ground’, while also ruling out plans for any further meetings.

The ICL officials, meanwhile, were more scathing in their description of the meeting. Terming it a ‘farce’, they said that the BCCI came up with ‘an offer during the meeting that was simply not acceptable’. They even questioned the board’s intentions of resolving the issue. "It didn`t look like the BCCI was ever serious to resolve the issue…We will now have to look at other options, including the legal route, as the way forward," an ICL official said.

ICL sources said the meeting between Kapil Dev, its chairman, Himanshu Mody, its business head, and Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, took place at the coffee shop of the Taj Hotel in New Delhi and lasted barely 15-20 minutes. "It was ridiculous, the way the BCCI went about this meeting."

At ICC’s behest, Manohar had agreed to meet officials of the ICL after its request for recognition came up for discussion at the Apex cricketing body’s meet in Dubai earlier this week.

Since its inception, the ICL has seen strong opposition from the BCCI, which has banned players associated with the league from all forms of official cricket and barred them from using any of its facilities.

The ICL is demanding a status similar to other authorised unofficial cricket such as the Hong Kong Sixes event and the Stanford 20/20 in the West Indies.

However another dampner to ICL’s aspirations could be that two senior BCCI officials - Manohar and the IPL chairman Lalit Modi, are on a five-man ICC sub-committee that has worked on modifying the rules for official and unofficial cricket.

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