ICC set to form Advisory Committee

Kathmandu, September 4

In a bid to end the long-standing disputes in Nepali cricket, the International Cricket Council is set to form a seven-member Advisory Committee which will be mainly responsible to draft the new statute of Nepal Cricket Board.

The move came after ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, Associate Member Director of ICC Development Committee Imran Khawaja and Finance Manger Amar Sheikh met with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Minister for Youth and Sports Daljit Sripali and National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista at the PM’s residence this morning.

According to NSC Press Advisor Rohit Dahal, the meeting reached an agreement to form Nepal Cricket Board and an Advisory Committee with five to seven members to draft the statute. “The meeting was fruitful as all the parties agreed to form a committee to end the dispute once and for all,” said the NSC Press Advisor. Richardson said the meeting with PM Dahal was constructive. “PM Dahal assured of supporting the ICC for the reinstatement of Nepal’s membership,” he added.

After taking the consent of Prime Minister Dahal, the ICC trio along with former CAN CEO Bhawana Ghimire sat with Minister Sripali and NSC Member Secretary Bista to form the committee. “The meeting finalised the names of the seven members unanimously,” Dahal added. The ICC delegation then met with the stakeholders of Nepali cricket, including elected committee president Chatur Bahadur Chand, Treasurer Raju Babu Shrestha and Member Thakur Pratap Thapa along with NSC-formed ad hoc committee General Secretary Pawan Agrawal. According to sources, Minister Sripali proposed the names of MoYS Joint Secretary Chooda Mani Paudel and former CAN vice-president Deepak Koirala, while ICC floored the names of former CAN President Binay Raj Pandey, General Secretary of elected committee Ashok Nath Pyakurel and General Secretary of ad hoc committee Pawan Agrawal. The source said former CEO of CAN Bhawana Ghimire — who was with the ICC delegates throughout the day — proposed businessman Basanta Chaudhary’s name, while the meeting agreed to include NSC Press Advisor Rohit Dahal in the committee.

The ICC, which was supposed to announce the names of the officials, could not do so after Chand-led faction did not agree with the formation of the Advisory Committee. “We are not in position to announce the officials and hopefully we will do that in two weeks time,” Richardson told reporters at the press meet. “The committee will have representatives from NSC and cricket community of Nepal and ICC’s plan I to sort out everything by June next year.” Richardson said the mandate of the committee would be to draft the statute of the board. “Once the statute of the board is prepared, fresh elections will be held for a new committee and that will run cricket in Nepal,” he added. “Until then, the Nepali cricket will remain suspended and the ICC will not release the funds to the suspended committee,” said Richardson, who reiterated that the suspension would not affect Nepal’s participation in international tournaments.

President of elected committee Chand said his faction rejected the ICC’s proposal of forming the Advisory Committee as it was against their fight against government interference. “This is ICC’s double standard. The ICC says it does not tolerate government interference in member associations but they are here to institutionalise the same in Nepal,” said Chand. “Forming an Advisory Committee in line with the government means the ICC wants more government interference in Nepali cricket. We do not need a committee to amend the statute as we are capable of doing so within 25 days and move ahead,” he added. Chand also accused the ICC of projecting an individual as future president without naming the official. “Everything is clear. We know this committee is not going to resolve the cricket crisis in Nepal. We believe the ICC wants a certain individual to lead Nepali cricket and they are working to make way for that,” he said.

A three-member ICC team — Asia Development Manager Bandula Warnapura, Finance Manager Amar Sheikh and Legal Section Chief Paul McMohan — had visited Nepal last month to assess the current scenario of Nepali cricket in the wake of the membership suspension of CAN. They had held a joint meeting with presidents and general secretaries of both the committees of CAN along with NSC Member Secretary Bista apart from meeting the stakeholders in their two-day visit. The ICC had suspended the membership of CAN on April 25 alleging the government of interfering into the cricketing matters and also accused the board of not holding free and fair elections. The ICC board meeting later approved the suspension and decided to send a team to assess the situation. Chand-led body had on January 12 filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court and the apex court is yet to give the verdict. The third AGM of CAN on December 14 last year had elected the 17-member executive committee under Chand.

Proposed Advisory Committee members

  • Chooda Mani Paudel, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports
  • NSC Press Advisor Rohit Dahal
  • Binay Raj Pandey, former President, CAN
  • Deepak Koirala, former vice-president, CAN
  • Pawan Agrawal, General Secretary, NSC-formed CAN
  • Ashok Nath Pyakurel, General Secretary, elected CAN
  • Basanta Chaudhary, businessman