Fears of new split in world cricket after ‘rival’ boards are registered
As per the reports in the Guardian, the ICC has launched an immediate investigation after Essel Group, the company behind the no longer existing Indian Cricket League (ICL), began registering companies with names that appear to be the rival national cricket boards, raising fears of a future split in cricketing world.
Cricket Australia (CA) was the first board to be notified to the issue last December and has subsequently objected to the registration of Australia Cricket Control Limited by the subsidiary Essel Corporation Mauritius. New Zealand Cricket has also issued similar proceedings against the establishment of New Zealand Cricket Limited, Kiwi Cricket limited and Aotearoa Cricket Limited (after the Maori name for the country) by the same company.
Cricket Scotland, an ICC associate member, has found itself similarly involved, with the board aware of a company being set up in Edinburgh under the name of Cricket Control Scotland Limited. Cricket Scotland wrote to its founder earlier this year to seek an explanation, setting a deadline of 6 April for a response, but has not heard back.
At the same time, a number of website domain names, which include cricketassociationofengland.co.in and other variants thereof, have been registered, with their origin traced back to Deepak Srivastava, a senior IT manager at Ten Sports.
Such steps by Essel, whose rebel ICL tournament started from 2007 until its abandonment in 2009, and Ten Sports, the host broadcaster for home international matches played by West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Zimbabwe, have left cricket chiefs questioning whether fresh moves are going on for another breakaway cricket tournament.
Now the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), led by its outgoing chairman, Giles Clarke, has requested these boards to establish the motives behind the moves from their broadcast partner. A spokesperson told the Guardian:
The ECB is aware and the chairman briefed our board a few days ago following an ICC board meeting last week where this matter was raised.
don’t know the motives behind these registrations and need to know more. In the absence of any proper explanation, there is clearly a concern for cricket and the ECB.
Ten Sports are not a partner of the ECB so we’ve asked our colleagues at boards with whom there’s a direct relationship to help in clarifying this situation with their broadcast partner. At this stage, until we know more, there’s nothing more we can add.
Essel has long been infuriated by its lack of presence in the Indian broadcast market where Star Sports owns the rights for international cricket and the Champions League, and Sony televises the IPL.
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