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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flip-flop on ACSU at IPL

After all the hue and cry surrounding the deployment of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) personnel at the Indian Premier League, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the International Cricket Council have diametrically altered their positions. The BCCI, which initially declined the offer of the ACSU's services, has relented on engaging Sir Paul Condon's men but now the ICC says it is not in a position to provide the service.

"We cannot do something that cannot be the best," said an ICC spokesman. "It is too late for the ACSU to provide the service because work at a tournament of IPL's scale and length requires at least a month's preparation besides a heavy work force. They would have needed people and time for reconnaissance and surveillance."

The BCCI admitted that it has reconsidered the stand. "We wanted to invite the ACSU but we understand it is too late. There is no point inviting them at this stage," a top BCCI official said. The issue was also discussed at the Working Committee meeting on Wednesday.

It is learnt that the BCCI initially refused because the ICC was demanding a hefty fee to put in place its protocols. They wanted a whopping $1.5 million which, a Board official said, was much more than the budget allocated for the purpose by the IPL.

The change in the BCCI's position came about after its meeting with ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat. Lorgat, who was in Mumbai in connection with the 2011 World Cup Organising Committee meeting on Monday, is believed to have agreed to reduce the fees but the offer came too late. It may be recalled that Condon had once told the ICC that the potential for betting and match-fixing is high in a tournament like the IPL.

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