IPL is a domestic tournament, can’t get FTP window, says Haroon Lorgat

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is neither planning to give the Indian Premier League (IPL) a window in its Future Tours Programme (FTP) nor has the Twenty20 league asked for it.

ICC’s chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat said on Monday that since the IPL is a domestic tournament it is not possible for the world body to slot it in the FTP.

“We can’t create a separate window for the IPL because it is a domestic event. And it is not possible for us to accommodate domestic events in the FTP, which is an international programme. If we do in the case of the IPL, we will have to accommodate domestic events of other member countries as well,” said Lorgat, during the unveiling of the World Twenty20 Trophy.

Asked if it was a wise step to host the World Twenty20, five days after the conclusion of the IPL, Lorgat said: “This is the third World Cup in four years and I accept that there is an anomaly in scheduling. But I personally feel that this was the right time to host the Twenty20 World Cup, because players would be in Twenty20 mood, fresh from their IPL stint.”

The 50-year-old South African went on to add that the rising popularity of Twenty20 is in no way threatening the existence of Test and ODI cricket.

“There is no doubt that Twenty20 is popular, but in no way is it undermining the popularity of the other two formats of the game. When I took over as CEO, a lot of questions were raised on the existence of Tests and ODIs. But in the last eight months we have seen some fantastic Tests and exciting ODI matches. And Sachin’s (Tendulkar) 200 in ODIs is a classic example of the fact that the popularity of the other two formats of the game is still intact,” he said.

Lorgat also said that the ICC has kept the third edition of the World Cup short and sharp and tickets have been priced affordably.

“Pricing of tickets was a concern for us in the last two editions of the Twenty20 World Cup. We found out that tickets were not accessible to the locals. So this time we have kept the prices of tickets low keeping in mind that the West Indian community is not so big,” he said.

On the recent match fixing incident at Essex involving Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, Lorgat said: “I can’t comment much on the issue, but as far as the ICC is concerned, we have zero tolerance towards corruption. And all our players are also forthcoming in alerting us if they get even a whiff of it.”

Lorgat’s remarks were sought on reports of match irregularities in English county cricket and the ICC official sounded confident of curbing the menace.

“I do not want to comment on county cricket incident because police is investigating the issue,” Lorgat said, alluding to two Essex players going under investigation on match-irregularity charges.

“As far as corruption in cricket is concerned, we adopt a zero tolerance policy and the existing Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) oversees the issue,” the ICC official said.

“I’m fortunate to say that all players across the world, because of our education process, are better able to report potential approaches (by bookies),” Lorgat said.

He said ICC has already appointed full-time security manager and would bolster ACSU further if needed.

“We believe what we got is sufficient resource to take care of the issue. We have already increased resources and if required, we would not hesitate to add more,” he said.

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