5-day ICC meet got underway in Kolkata on Sunday    AFP
5-day ICC meet got underway in Kolkata on Sunday AFP

Kolkata: The absence of players’ Associations in India and Pakistan is a “big concern” for FICA and the issue was discussed on the first day of the ICC five-day meeting, which began today. Formation of a players Association is one of the recommendations made by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee as the whole idea is to give the cricketers “a voice to raise their concerns” while barring them from forming a “trade union of any sort.”

“Unfortunately India and Pakistan do not have a functioning players association. It’s definitely a big concern. The Lodha Commission has already said about forming an association. We will speak to them when (will) they form an association. It’s up to the players in India,” a top official of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations told PTI. “India is definitely a dominant force in cricket and as a result of number of people are following the sport. ICC consists of the 12 full member countries. India really dominate the decision making in ICC.”

That the Indian cricketers enjoy a lot of stardom and are powerful enough to bargain with BCCI on their own is one of the reasons cited for the delay in forming a players’ body. Clarifying that they do not work as agents, the official said: “We are involved in the collective not the individual cricketer’s right. We are not individual agents.” The first day’s meeting also had women’s cricket committee meeting and women’s cricket forum. The morning session was attended by India captain Mithali Raj as a special invitee.

“She was here briefly during the meeting. She was asked whether she has encountered any instances of match fixing. She said she hasn’t till date,” an ICC official said.