Malcolm Speed will hand over charge as International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive to Haroon Lorgat in a few weeks' time. And while he spoke extensively about the challenges being thrown up by T20 in a freewheeling chat, the Australian said that the 'unofficial' Indian Cricket League (ICL) had approached the ICC for recognition. <b1>
"About 10 days ago, ICL lawyers contacted us and sought recognition from the ICC," Speed said. "We are awaiting advice from our lawyers. It's a fairly complicated legal issue."
On BCCI's decision to ban cricketers playing in the ICL and other countries following suit, Speed said, "That's a matter which should be sorted out by the countries. BCCI has never sent anything in writing to the ICC…they have never said that they don't recognise it.
"The law is different in every country on issues such as the state of trade, competition etc, so unless the ICC obtains legal advice on the ICL, the respective boards can deal with their players as they feel fit under the law of the country."
Speed said that it would be a challenge for the ICC to integrate T20 in the future. "We've known for some time that there would be third parties interested in T20. It's a sign that the game is in good health. It would be a challenge to integrate T20 into the rest of the game so that it becomes stronger."
IPL: Wait and watch
Lorgat, who will replace Speed in June, had said recently that there was an urgent need to explore the possibility of opening a Future Tours Programme (FTP) window for the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, Speed clarified that nobody has yet asked for a window to be created.
"The ICC Board agreed that it's too early to make a decision on the IPL," Speed said, adding that nobody, including the BCCI, had asked for a window to be created.
"T20 is very interesting and healthy and as cricket administrators of this generation we have to integrate T20 with other two forms of the game," he said. "Not many sports disciplines, including tennis, basketball, hockey or football, have had a challenge like this.
"I told the ICC board last month that this current generation of cricket administrators would be judged not by the money the game makes out of T20 but by how it is integrated with other forms of the game. We regard it as a challenge, not a problem."
Sunil Gavaskar, chairman of the ICC's Cricket Committee, has been given the option to either opt for being a journalist/commentator or to head the cricket committee after the former Indian captain's controversial remarks on ICC Match Referee Mike Procter.
"The ICC board is concerned about his role as a commentator/journalist and it has decided that the chairman should be a non-practising journalist," said Speed.
"I've explained it carefully to Sunny. There are no guidelines at the moment but he has been chairman for a long time. It hadn't been an issue up until now, but it's become an issue and the decision has been made.