Standoff on whereabout won't create problem in WC: Shetty

Standoff on whereabout won't create problem in WC: Shetty

Standoff on whereabout won't create problem in WC: Shetty

Ratnakar Shetty

"I don't foresee a problem. WADA has told ICC it's their problem to get it resolved. BCCI (Indian cricket board) has expressed certain concerns only about the whereabouts clause, nothing more than that," Shetty, who is also BCCI's chief administrative officer, told PTI in an exclusive interview here.

"ICC, WADA officials and BCCI had a meeting three months back in Dubai. It went off very well where we made it very clear that India is not opposed to the dope test, it's only about the whereabouts clause where 24 hours the sportsman has to file in the details. That could be resolved," Shetty explained.

"We are seeking the support of other boards also. Mr N Srinivasan (BCCI secretary) and Mr Shashank Manohar (BCCI president) have been working with other cricket boards as well as with ICC to find an early solution to this problem.

"Cricket is a team game and you have got ample opportunities to test any one at any time. It need not be in a tournament, could be before the tournament whenever they are practicing you can do the test. So why have this stringent clause, which can be easily resolved," he added.

The WADA whereabouts clause has been opposed by top Indian players who are of the view that it infringes on their right to privacy and also is a potential security threat.
The cricketers have been backed by BCCI while the ICC has suspended the clause.

Shetty was not willing to talk about a potential problem arising if Pakistan make it to the final of next year's World Cup scheduled for Mumbai, home of the Shiv Sena, which is vehemently opposed to Pakistani cricketers participation on Indian soil, especially in Maharashtra.

"I would not like to comment at this stage because that is something which is a still a far off thing. The only chance of Pakistan playing (in India) would be if they reach the final," he said.

All of Pakistan's share of matches in the World Cup have been scheduled in Sri Lanka. The World Cup Director said that the organisers have almost closed out all the travel and accommodation arrangements of the teams during their campaign in the tournament to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"We have more or less closed the accommodation of teams and their travel arrangements internally. Fortunately, both Jet Airways and Kingfisher are flying to both Colombo and Dhaka. We will be more or less closing everything in another ten days, the airlines partner and hotel accommodation," Shetty said.

Shetty, who is also the treasurer of the Mumbai Cricket Association, said each of the competing teams would be provided with two practice games ahead of the mega tournament to be held in February-March next year.

"Practice matches are slated in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Every team has got two practice games before the World Cup starts. "In India the two practice matches will be played at Chennai. Bangalore will host two practice matches and Nagpur will also host two practice games. That's based only on the logistical part. There will be about six games in Bangladesh and the remaining in Sri Lanka," he said.

Tickets would go on sale online from June 1 and five per cent of them at each venue will be available online, according to Shetty.

"ICC has announced that on 1st of June we are going to launch online sale of tickets. People all round the globe can book tickets," he said. "Ticket sales at the counters will start closer to the games. Box office tickets will be done online. Probably that will happen only in the last 15-20 days before the match because physical delivery of the tickets, as a rule, is only seven days before a game. Every state association, therefore, will organise their own ticket sales. Part of it will be online, part will be box office," Shetty said.

Shetty said though the ICC is looking at alternative venues to be kept ready for the matches in case of any eventuality, it will fructify only at a later stage. "As of now we have not really thought of that (contingency plan). One of the things ICC looks for is that alternate venues have to be kept ready which, I think, may come up a little later. As of now we are focused on these 13 venues (in three host countries)," he said.

"There are no reserve days for the matches, including the final in case of interference by the weather. Hopefully it (rain) should not disturb in that part of the season but one never knows now," the tournament director said.

Shetty said each host association or host board, as the case may be, will be taking insurance cover for the matches. "Every match will be insured by the state association. As per the ICC guidelines, ticket income goes to the host association and host board. Like they do in a bilateral series, every association will have their own insurance policies for the matches and the particular boards will take care of the insurance for the players. That is also now streamlined by ICC," he said.

Shetty stated that media accreditation for the event would be done as per the ICC guidelines.

"ICC has brought strict guidelines on that (media accreditation) and they monitor the whole programme. Whatever ICC guidelines are applicable for their events will be strictly
followed in India, which includes central accreditation, and even local accreditation at venues wherever it's possible to accommodate people," Shetty said.

"We have asked all the venues to revamp their media boxes to accommodate more media people," he said.

Shetty said though there is a central organising committee headed by Sharad Pawar with representatives from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on it, each host country has its own local organising committee with the presidents of the respective cricket boards heading them. "We have a central organising committee with Mr Pawar as the Chairman and we have representatives from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. And each country has got a local organising committee with their (board) President as the chairman," he said.

"There's one host tournament director in each of these countries who will co-ordinate activities in that country –- for Sri Lanka it's Suraj Dandanayake, India its Sury Nayak and Ali Hassan for Bangladesh," Shetty informed.

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