Indian women's board optimistic despite delay

The Women's Cricket Association of India is undeterred by the BCCI's postponement of the impending merger between the two boards. The BCCI failed to discuss the matter in the working committee meeting in Thiruvananthapuram last week, but Shubhangi Kulkani, the secretary of the WCAI, remained positive about the issue. "I haven't heard directly from the BCCI yet," Kulkarni told Cricinfo, "but from the reports that I have heard they are considering the merger, and are looking into how other countries have merged and they are going to put it up in the next meeting."
According to the Indian board, though they are considering the merger, the matter has been put on hold. SK Nair, the secretary of the BCCI, was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "The recent performances [of the women's team] have been exceptional and we want to give them due credence. The BCCI will soon allow itself to take a decision on this."

However, contrasting comments have come from the board. "The BCCI has enough on its plate as it is," a senior official said, according to the daily. "Women's cricket can wait, currently that's not the priority."

The ICC has granted time till March 2006 for boards of all countries to complete the merger. Kulkarni informed, "It's up to the BCCI. The International Women Cricket's Council had asked all countries to start the merger process in 2003 and it was to be completed by 2005. India is the only country where it has not happened, so that is how we have got this extension of time. It has already taken two years, so [it's] difficult to say how long will it take."

Kulkarni was also considering contacting Ranbir Singh Mahendra, the BCCI president, to take the matter further. "I have talked to the president and asked him if we can meet and discuss the things in person. They were busy with the meeting and after the meeting they said we would meet, so I have to get in touch with them again."