Gag order on players as media is kept out April 5, 2007

Secrecy is the buzzword as meeting gets underway

Cricinfo staff



Secrecy is the buzzword: The media will be kept out of the Wankhede Stadium premises © Getty Images

The extreme developments of the last couple of days had prompted the Board of Control for Cricket in India to take no chances with the high-powered meetings set to take place in Mumbai on April 6 and 7. While it debates - and hopefully decides - on the various crucial issues it has suddenly been faced with, there will be measures in place to ensure secrecy is maintained.

To that end, the board has decided to keep the media out of the Wankhede Stadium premises, where its offices are situated and where it is scheduled to meet. The board has also asked both Greg Chappell and Sanjay Jagdale, coach and manager for the World Cup, not to send the reports sought from them in any form - fax or email - to board members, but instead to table them directly before Sharad Pawar, the president, at the assigned time.

It has already instructed the players to refrain from making any remarks to the media, especially on the currently sensitive topics doing the rounds in Indian cricket.

Rahul Dravid, who has steered clear of the limelight for the past few days, holidaying in Kerala with his family, will speak to the office-bearers at the meeting but submit no report. The word on Thursday was that Sachin Tendulkar had also been asked to attend the meeting but this could not be confirmed.

The two-day session will be the first time the BCCI would have met to discuss India's early exit from the World Cup and its fallout, including Wednesday's decision by Chappell not to seek an extension of his coaching contract. Rumours of an emergency meeting convened at Pawar's residence on Wednesday evening, soon after the Chappell news broke, proved to be just rumour.

And so, at 10am on Friday, Chappell and Jagdale will hand over their reports to Pawar. Also present will be Niranjan Shah, the secretary, Mohinder Pandove, the joint secretary, N Srinivasan, the treasurer, four vice-presidents, the chairman of selectors and the administrative head. Lalit Modi, who is in London at the moment, is the one vice-president unlikely to attend the meeting.

While Jagdale's report will be restricted to the tournament, Chappell, it is believed, has been asked for a detailed analysis from the time his tenure began, 22 months ago.

In the second half of the day, once they are finished with Chappell and Jagdale, the BCCI will meet with former Indian captains to ascertain their views on the best way forward. The former captains invited are Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Ravi Shastri, Kris Srikkanth, S Venkataraghavan and Chandu Borde. While the board will be discussing the details of the two reports they received with the former captains, it is understood that copies of the report will not be made available to them, once again in the interest of maintaining confidentiality.

The next day, by which time Chappell would probably have left the country for a pre-arranged break in Singapore, the board's working committee will meet. This meeting is expected to last all day, ending with a press conference at 5pm, when the decisions taken at the meeting will be made public.

The BCCI is not under any compulsion to name either a captain or coach at the end of the meetings, but it is widely expected that they will announce their captaincy choice and an interim coach, in the meantime constituting a panel that will look at options for a long-term coach.

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