Azhar: ICC should plan to offset losses suffered by cricket boards

The Hyderabad Cricket Association president calls on the ICC to revise the current Future Tours Programme.

HCA awaits the Telangana State government’s verdict on whether to extend the lockdown, says association president Azharuddin.   -  PTI

Hyderabad Cricket Association president Mohammad Azharuddin has said it is time the ICC revised the current Future Tours Programme, which runs until 2023, in consultation with cricket boards to determine a new international calendar for the next three years.

Many bilateral series scheduled in the current FTP have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

“Since, there is a global problem now because of the COVID-19, this is mandatory in the interest of the game,” 57-year-old Azhar said in a chat with Sportstar on Tuesday.

“Yes, it is pretty obvious that even domestic season, for instance HCA Leagues, will be off to a delayed start and consequently, the whole calendar of BCCI will be affected. There will be definitely far less tournaments on domestic front, too, for sure,” he said.

“With the IPL also hanging in balance and a lot of uncertainty about the T20 World Cup in Australia in October, I sincerely believe the respective boards shall be taken into confidence by the ICC and come out with a plan of action which meets the needs and aspirations of all the governing bodies and the players,” the former India captain said.

‘Tough times’

“These are tough times and hence I feel the ICC should come out with a concrete plan of action to offset whatever losses the boards suffer financially,” he said.

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“From the HCA perspective, we will have to wait till May 7 when the State government is expected to take a final call whether to extend the current lockdown or not,” Azhar said.

“Yes, there will be a drastic change in every citizen’s lifestyle for sure even if the lockdown is lifted as social distancing can well be the regular norm even there are relaxations in the immediate future and this will have a bearing on the sports bodies, too,” he felt.

“Definitely, the BCCI is in touch with the respective State associations for sure and I had a chat with Sourav Ganguly (BCCI president) a couple of days ago on the current situation,” Azhar revealed.

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“No doubt, the BCCI chief is conscious of the players’ interests. His priority, quite rightly, is everybody’s safety, not just the players, and clearly hinted that any resumption of cricketing activities will depend on how well the situation at the ground level improves,” he concluded.

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