Despite the BCCI statement to the effect that talks with the banned Indian Cricket League were off, its hugely influential former president and ICC vice-president Sharad Pawar was part of a secret meeting with ICL chief Subhash Chandra in New Delhi on Monday evening.
No other BCCI official was present at the meeting that was held at the Oberoi hotel. Sources suggest that the meeting reportedly happened at the behest of Pawar. Also present at the meeting were the ICC president David Morgan, its CEO, Haroon Lorgat.
It is believed that the foursome of Morgan, Lorgat, Pawar and Chandra had an initial round of talks at Pawar's place at around 7.30 pm. While Morgan, Lorgat and Pawar stayed back, Chandra left to attend a function at a Jewish centre near the Oberoi.
All four arrived at the Oberoi at around 8.45 pm, the three ICC officials were followed by Chandra in his Pajero. They headed towards the hotel's Belvedere Club for talks over dinner.
The development brings hope for ICL players, who have been banned by the BCCI from taking part in its competitions.
It is suspected that Pawar, who has had such a big impact in the way the game is officially being run in the country, is working out ways of how to join hands with the ICL. The Pakistan Cricket Board is finding out ways of removing the ban of its ICL players without inviting the BCCI wrath. There has been considerable pressure building up to broker peace on account of the number of players being affected.