IPL's place in world cricket calendar to be discussed

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Indian Premier League (IPL) and its place in the world cricket calendar is expected to be a key area of discussion as chief executives [or their equivalent] from all boards under the ICC umbrella meet over two days in Kuala Lumpur, starting tomorrow.

Also on the agenda at the meeting, to be chaired by the ICC's chief executive Malcolm Speed, are: format and number of teams for the 2011 World Cup, feedback on the international schedule post-2012, and a pioneering proposal from the ICC management to start the

"trialling of an 'umpire decision review system' during the England v South Africa Test series to be played in England in July/August 2008".

The meeting of chief executives follows a scheduling summit, also in Kuala Lumpur, to review the draft international programme post-2012. While the question of how to accommodate the IPL and the proposed Champions League in the schedule will be touched upon, some wrangling is also expected on who will get to play the big teams.

Pakistan, for instance, is expected to push for a "fair share" of Tests and one-dayers.

"Our cricketers have to play optimum number of matches if we are to realise our target of becoming the world's best team,"

Nasim Ashraf, the Pakistan board chairman, was quoted as saying in The News.

"Without putting them at the risk of injury or burnout, we will ensure that their international commitments are at par with other top teams like Australia, India and South Africa."

Ashraf is also expected to seek the help of other members in convincing Australia to go ahead with their tour to Pakistan in March-April, which seems unlikely with Cricket Australia expressing concerns over security.

"We have already got a raw deal in the FTP and if Australia don't come as per schedule, we will just have three Tests this year and that too when India tour later this year in December,"

Ashraf told PTI.

"We still remain hopeful they will fulfill their obligations of touring Pakistan but the truth is we are in a frustrating situation. Despite repeated assurances that no cricket team has been hit by violence in Pakistan and that it is safe for them to tour and they will be given state-level security, they are still expressing concerns."

Besides scheduling, what will be tracked with keen interest is the umpire decision review system.

"According to the proposal, the captain of the fielding team or the batsman, as the case may be, will be entitled to a limited number of occasions to request the on-field umpire to review his decision in consultation with the TV umpire,"

said an ICC spokesperson, in a statement.

"The chief executive committee will review this proposal and make a recommendation to the ICC board. If the trial is given the go-ahead by the Board, the final playing conditions will be developed in consultation with the ICC cricket committee."

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?