India news January 15, 2013

BCCI likely to take decision on Azharuddin

More than two months after the Andhra Pradesh High Court struck down the life ban imposed on former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, the BCCI is set to take a call on whether to terminate or retain it on Tuesday. The Azharuddin case is one of the main issues on the agenda of the BCCI working committee that will be convened at the board's headquarters in Mumbai.

After the High Court termed BCCI's punishment to Azharuddin for alleged involvement in match-fixing as "unsustainable", the last working committee of the BCCI had deferred the decision. The working committee decides all issues pertaining to the governance of the game in India; it felt the legal cell needed more time to study the court order.

Since the Azharuddin issue is "on the agenda", as revealed by a BCCI insider, the committee's decision today could be significant. "If the legal cell is convinced that the decision can be challenged in the apex court, the board may do that. Otherwise, it would depend on what the members feel on floor," the source revealed.

Despite speculation in the media, the working committee is unlikely to discuss the fate of Duncan Fletcher's tenure as the India coach. While most of the board members are convinced that there is "no way" Fletcher's contract will be renewed after it expires at the end of the Australia Test series in March, the issue is unlikely to be discussed officially. "In the middle of an international series, it's not fair to discuss such issues. But if a member raises a concern with the permission of the chair at the end of the meeting, it can be discussed," another source revealed.

Meanwhile, the IPL governing council, which is also set to meet on Tuesday, is likely to finalise the venue for the player auction slated to be held on February 3. Though the date of the auction was announced during the workshop with IPL team owners last month, the venue hasn't yet been confirmed, with Kolkata and Chennai being favourites.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo