Malcolm SpeedICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed spoke to Deputy Editor SHARDA UGRA about run-ins with the BCCI and overloaded player schedules. Excerpts: Q. There have been delays over Champions Trophy venues and the Asian bid for the 2011World Cup … what is the ICC’s relationship with the new BCCI like?,Malcolm SpeedICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed spoke to Deputy Editor SHARDA UGRA about run-ins with the BCCI and overloaded player schedules. Excerpts: Q. There have been delays over Champions Trophy venues and the Asian bid for the 2011World Cup … what is the ICC’s relationship with the new BCCI like? A. I can see that progress is being made in important areas, TV and sponsorship deals have been concluded. The ICC has consistently said that it would like to see a professional administration in the BCCI, a high powered Indian CEO and a full management team. It would take highly professional administrators to see that deals in place are fulfilled. I understand some steps are being taken in this regard. The next three months will give us a better idea.Q. Isn’t the BCCI’s insistence on a fixed home season and more lucrative bilateral series contrary to the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP)? A. No, this isn’t new nor is it a threat of any kind. Other countries have fixed bilateral series outside the previous Five-Year Programme like the Natwest series in England. The FTP requires every country to play each other home and away in a six-year period in a minimum of two Tests and three ODIs. Outside this, countries are free to negotiate whatever they like; our only concern is if they load up the schedule too heavily.Q. Player burnout is a big issue. How can the ICC ensure that the boards don’t contribute to it by adding extra bilateral series? advertisementA. The players don’t accept that they are playing too much. Those who play only Test cricket, say for India, have seven Tests this year, followed by 15, 18 and eight for the next three years. That is not too much cricket. I don’t believe there is too much Test cricket. Some countries are going close to the limit of one-dayers. India is stretching the limit of ODI cricket and we just need to be careful it doesn’t load its one-day programme too heavily. The BCCI assures us the players have no problem with it. They have said their schedule is okay with the players, that they are happy playing more cricket.Q. Does the ICC approve of the BCCI’s recent plan to play more offshore cricket? Will it not give illegal betting a lift? A. We are happy that top cricket matches are being played in non traditional venues because it gives people in other countries a chance to see cricket at its best. As for illegal betting, our anti-corruption protocols will be very firmly in place in all these non-traditional venues.Q. What is the ICC’s opinion on India’s objections to the Twenty20 World Cup and its refusal to even entertain the format formally? A. We respect India’s view that it does not wish to play Twenty20 on its own turf; we have limited the volume of Twenty20 cricket that can be played at the international level. A country can only play two matches on any home tour plus one more game. The proposed world Twenty20 championship will take place every three years only for nine days.Q. Given India’s value to world cricket, does the ICC benefit from the lack of a formally recognised players’ association in India? A. We are neither happy nor unhappy with the situation. India is one of five countries whose boards prefer to deal with us directly on player issues; if there is a players’ association formed that the Indian Board asks us to deal with, we will do so.
It has almost been six months since Micromax subsidiary, YU launched its first smartphone Yureka. Since then the phone has been available through flash sales, which is quite effcirnt for companies but leaves a bitter taste for a lot many who are unable to acquire the phone. Yu is acknowledging that frustration by providing its only smartphone in a 2-day window without any need to register beforehand.The device will be available from May 6 and the sale will go on till the next 48 hours. The company took to social networking site, Twitter, to announce the flash-less sale. The tweet did not mention the amount of units available so we can’t be sure of the duration after all. No registrations, no time limits. Yureka open sale on 6th and 7th May. Are you ready to Play God? pic.twitter.com/kYWCQK6pkV YU (@YUplaygod) May 2, 2015The device gained such popularity due to the low budget-high performance ratio and also because the phone runs the most popular Android custom ROM Cyanogen OS. It sports a 5.5 inch screen screen with a resolution of 1280×720 and is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 615 chipset. On the camera front the device sports a decent 13 Megapixel snapper paired with a 5Megapixel front snapper.The Micromax subsidiary will also launch Yu Yureka’s successor which will be called Yuphoria. The name was chosen through crowd sourcing and even the interface of the phone has been crowdsourced through a competition.
He contemplated “suicide” during his time at Tihar Jail but pacer S Sreesanth is now hoping to sing the redemption song and would approach the BCCI for lifting the life ban imposed on him from playing cricket by the Board.Sreesanth was last week exonerated in the 2013 spot-fixing IPL scandal by a Delhi Court.”I have sought an appointment with BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur. He has told a TV channel that I can file an application requesting to lift the ban.”I am hopeful after indication from the higher-ups of the BCCI that it would consider my request. So I want to file an application. I am waiting for his (General Secretary Anurag Thakur) call. I hope the next meeting of the BCCI would take a favourable decision,” Sreesanth told reporters here.The cricketer, who has played Tests and ODIs for India, spoke about the trauma he went through when he was arrested and put in Tihar jail after being accused of having nexus with a cricket betting racket, allegedly run by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel.”Initially I thought about suicide. I could overcome because of my devotion to Lord Ettumanoorappan (Lord Shiva in Kerala’s famouse Ettumanoor Mahadevar temple) and the support given by my family,” Sreesanth said.Also read: BCCI could consider lifting ban on Sreesanth: Anurag Thakur Asked if he expects a favourable response from BCCI, in which former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar is Chief advisor to the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), the cricketer said, “After all he is also a human being. He has also got a heart.”advertisementSreesanth said that if Kumar, who ordered his arrest, along with Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan when he headed the Delhi police, recalled the circumstances which led to his arrest in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, he would get a clearer picture.”I don’t think he would put any hindrance on my path.After all, BCCI is a body, not an individual,” he said.The cricketer also said he would not approach the court in case BCCI is reluctant to lift the ban.”I will wait. I don’t want to challenge any one. I want to play cricket,” he said.The cricketer rejected reports that he had a net session at Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium yesterday evening. He said he would start practising in the ground only if his life ban is lifted.The stadium at Kaloor, owned by Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), has been partially leased out to the Kerala Cricket Association, a member of the BCCI, for 30 years for hosting Test matches.