Soon after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conveyed its unwillingness to sign the latest anti-doping code that would put cricket in line with the World Anti Doping Agency’s framework, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has written to all member boards asking them to maintain status quo.
Even though the Indian Board made it clear that its players would not file “whereabouts information”, as required under the ICC code, the ICC has instructed the other boards to continue filing details as they have done so far.
“I have no doubt that you will have seen in recent media reports that the ICC met with the BCCI on Monday to discuss the International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP) and that the BCCI working committee has decided that the Indian players will not file the whereabouts information required under the ICC Code,” the ICC wrote in its letter to all boards.
The letter also contained no reference to the ICC penalising either the BCCI or its players. It does, however, state emphatically that the way forward was for the issue to “be referred to the ICC Board for consideration”.
While the letter does not specify a timeframe within which the matter would be taken up by the executive board, it stressed the need for the new system to be kept in place till the matter was decided. Member boards were told that “pending consideration of this issue by the ICC Board, the current system remains in place and cricketers in the IRTP should continue to file their whereabouts until further notice”.
This is sure to cause serious heartburn among other cricket playing nations as they have all signed the new code and are filing “whereabouts information”, albeit with serious reservations. One of the reasons the other countries signed was the advice of the Federation of Cricket Associations (FICA). FICA president Tim May has already stated strongly that he was not in favour of any special allowances being made to India, which incidentally doesn’t recognise FICA. “If Indian players do not have to comply with the whereabouts provision or don’t suffer penalties for not filing such information, we will certainly be ensuring that ICC lifts this obligation from the rest of the teams,” May had said. “The ICC will either have to cite the Indian players for filing failures or relieve all other players from the need to comply with this regulation,” he said.
The ICC has not specified when its executive board would meet but the next scheduled meeting is set to take place in October. However, there is a chance that the ICC will expedite the matter after Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive, and David Morgan, the president decide on the way forward.