CEO of International Cricket Council David Richardson (R) speaks during a press meet at Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu on Sunday. ( Bijay Gajmer / Republica )
KATHMANDU, Sept 4 : With a view to solve the problems plaguing Nepali cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has declared to form an ICC Advisory Committee after meeting with top governmental officials on Sunday. Nepali cricket has been engulfed in internal disputes leading to the suspension of Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) by the world cricket governing body in April.
Organizing a press conference in the capital on Sunday, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said that the Advisory Committee comprising of government representative, National Sports Council (NSC) and cricket stakeholder will be formed within two weeks to end the crisis of Nepali cricket.
The ICC team comprising of Chief Executive Richardson, Chairman of Associates Imran Khwaja and Finance Manger Ammar Sheikh on Sunday held meeting with various stakeholders including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Minister for Youth and Sports Daljit Sripali and NSC Member Secretary Keshav Kumar Bista.
According to the ICC roadmap, the Advisory Committee will be assigned to draft a new statute of the cricket governing body of the country and will facilitate in holding a fresh election. The ICC, however, did not specify the time limit of the committee. The formation of the Advisory Committee does not mean that the suspension of CAN has been lifted.
“The advisory group will consist of Nepali cricket stakeholders. They will be taken from the government, NSC and also from the members of the cricket community of Nepal. We still have to finalize the names of the group which will be announced within the next two weeks,” Chief Executive Richardson said.
“The initial mandate of that advisory group will be to review CAN’s existing constitution. Once we have reviewed it and recommended any amendments or rewriting of the constitution to them, we will facilitate in holding elections under that revised constitution,” he further added.
“Our plan is to get things sorted out by June, 2017. Following our meetings, ICC is determined to make sure that Nepali cricket teams don’t have to suffer.”
“We need to put in place a constitution (statute) that everyone needs to accept and complies with the relevant legislation in Nepal, giving authority to the National Sports Council. If the elections are held under that revised constitution, everyone will be happy, there will be no need of government interference and the ICC will reinstate Nepali cricket.”
The cricket governing body of the country was suspended by ICC on April 25 earlier this year. The ICC had imposed a ban on CAN owing to controversial election and government interference. Chatur Bahadur Chand was elected as CAN president through a controversial midnight election on December 14 without taking the consent of the NSC.
The NSC responded by dismissing the Chand-led committee and formed a new ad hoc committee under the leadership of Ramesh Silwal on January 8.
The ICC has been directly handling the international affairs of Nepali cricket since the suspension of CAN. The NSC has been looking after the domestic cricket of Nepal.
Earlier, the ICC has blocked funds for Nepali cricket on November 8 last year owing to non-transparency.
“Once CAN remains suspended, the funds will remain suspended. But we will make sure that Nepali cricket survives during the interim period and funds will be channelized as required. The ICC will facilitate in working with the advisory group,” said Richardson.
Speaking about his meeting with Prime Minister Dahal, Richardson said, “The meetings ended constructively with the PM, extending his support to the ICC’s efforts in working with the cricket stakeholders of Nepal toward putting in place the necessary steps that will ensure in lifting of the suspension.”
ICC Finance Manager Ammar Sheikh has been looking after Nepali cricket after its former Development Director Tim Anderson, who used to look after Nepal, resigned from his post. “We are also in the process to appoint our new development manager. We will shortly announce a person who will oversee the process and for the time being, Ammar Sheikh will handle the project,” he said.