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May 31, 2005
However, the BCCI, which had earlier postponed a decision on the matter without offering any reasons, will discuss the issue during the meeting. SK Nair, the BCCI secretary, told rediff.com website that an understanding would have to be reached on several organisational issues and conduct of tournaments before a merger can be announced.
The merger, which would be as per the ICC rulings, has already taken place in England, Australia and New Zealand, while the ICC also merged with the International Women's Cricket Council (IWCC) this April. The ICC has also warned that the women's team would not receive official recognition if the merger doesn't take place.
"The ICC has been insisting on the merger," said Shubhangi Kulkarni, the WCAI secretary. "The ICC has said if we don't merge then there is a possibility we would be left out. We have asked them for extension of time, which the ICC has granted and will run till April 2006. They said further action would be decided only then."
A merger will allow the women's team to use the infrastructure and the facilities which are currently accessible only to the men. "They have made the game so big in the country," Kulkarni said. "I hope that with the two boards merging, women's cricket will also get the exposure and bring in more sponsors. Also, it will provide better coaching and training facilities [for the women]. The NCA [National Cricket Academy] trains coaches, so we'd basically want to avail such facilities where we have better players and better coaches coming through the system." The Indian women's team has been doing exceptionally well of late, and reached the finals of the 2005 World Cup.
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