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Question mark over ICL’s Kolkata camp

kolkata : A day before Daryll Cullinan is scheduled to leave South Africa for the much-awaited Kolkata-leg camp of the Indian Cricket League (ICL), a fresh battle between the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the rebel league has cast a shadow on the camp. The ICL’s east zone contingent, Calcutta Tigers, are slated to assemble at the Calcutta Cricket & Football Club (CC&FC) this Friday for a week-long camp, where east zone coach Cullinan, along with five yet-to-be-announced international stalwarts, are scheduled to take the players through the paces.

However, the CC&FC is an affiliated unit of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), apart from being the state body’s founder member. And it is this CAB—and hence BCCI—connection, that has now pushed the camp’s hosts, CC&FC into a spot.

Although no one is coming out in the open with, sources in both the club and in the CAB disclosed that the state association is working under express instructions from the BCCI to force the CC&FC to not to host the ICL’s camp.

A prominent member of the Essel Group-backed ICL body told The Indian Express on the condition of anonymity: “With less than a week to go now for the camp, the picture is getting increasingly difficult for us because the BCCI is probably trying all that it can to stall this camp. And they are probably doing it through the CAB, of which the CC&FC is a member. I just hope the CC&FC doesn’t give in to the pressure and pull out. The ICL will be in a soup then.”

The CC&FC top brass, too, conceded that they have a difficult call to make, with time running out. The club’s cricket-secretary Dipankar Nandi said that the ICL has applied for corporate membership with them, which is a way out for the hosts and the ICL.

“The ICL has approached us for corporate membership, which is generally worked out on a temporary basis. We will discuss this case and finalise it by tomorrow. If a given body obtains our corporate membership, then it is always officially entitled to use the CC&FC ground for any camp or other activities,” Nandi spelt out, adding: “However, we are also affiliated with the CAB. So, let’s see how things work out tomorrow.”

The CAB, expectedly, has made its stand clear—that the CC&FC won’t go unpunished if it hosts the ICL camp. Says CAB joint-secretary Samar Paul: “We have instructions from the BCCI, that we should disallow all ICL-related activities on BCCI and CAB territory.

“The CC&FC is affiliated with the CAB. They can host any camp, but it shouldn’t be any ICL camp. That’s final. However, the CC&FC hasn’t yet announced anything. It’s only after they announce that they are hosting the ICL camp that we will decide a course of action.”

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