ICC news June 27, 2013

ICC moots internet in dressing rooms

Nearly two months before the start of the sixth IPL season, the BCCI and Cricket South Africa had supported a Cricket Australia (CA) proposal, during an ICC board meeting in Dubai, for introducing internet access in dressing rooms during international matches. The proposal was opposed by YP Singh, the head of ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

The ACSU has consistently opposed access to internet in the players' and officials' area since it poses a danger of information being disseminated to the outside world.

According to the minutes of the ICC board meeting held on January 29 this year - which were accessed by ESPNcricinfo on Thursday - BCCI president N Srinivasan had supported Cricket Australia's proposal, which had been struck down once earlier, because "live performance data could be transferred into the PMOA (Players and Match Officials Area) for live use by analysts". However, Srinivasan wasn't the only one to support this cause.

"Despite concerns raised by Mr Singh as to the ability of the ACSU to monitor the kind of system being proposed, Mr Srinivasan and Mr Faul [then acting CEO of CSA] expressed support for CA's proposal," the minutes read.

The discussion concluded with the board being of the view that "alternate technology must be available to provide a solution to the concerns of the ACSU". As a result, CA and the England and Wales Cricket Board were asked to carry out further work with the ACSU on a "trial" basis and revert to the board with a progress report "at an appropriate time".

Singh, who was a special invitee for the meeting, had reiterated the ACSU's stand of not making internet access available to players, support staff and match officials.

During the third Test of India's tour of Sri Lanka in 2010 at the P Sara Oval, an ACSU officer had forced the Sri Lankan media manager to introduce a password for the wi-fi connection in the press box. Since the media box was very close to the dressing room, the analysts and match officials could access internet meant for the press. The moment ACSU realised it, it was brought to the match referee's attention and a password was introduced for wi-fi access in the press box.

The minutes also mention Singh having raised an alarm over ownership patterns of a few franchises, without specifying the domestic Twenty20 leagues. "Mr (Giles) Clarke reported that Mr Singh had explained in a meeting the previous day that his biggest concern was in respect of the identity of the owners of certain domestic franchises, and the lack of transparent process around how those franchises had been awarded and how they could financially be sustained."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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