Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah head to the UK to meet with ECB officials this week

MUMBAI: After assuming the position of president and secretary of the BCCI A few weeks ago and explaining their priorities where India is approaching in the International Cricket Council ( ICC ) he's busy, Sourav Ganguly and Jay shah They are ready to go to England this week.

The two newly-elected BCCI office-bearers will be in London on December 12 to meet officials of the England &walescricketboard(ecb),particularchairmancolingraveswhorecentlywrotetotheiccandexpresseddispleasureoverthedraftofthenextfuturetoursprogramme(ftp).

Shah was appointed as India's representative to the ICC executive committee in the recent Annual General Meeting. Ganguly's UK visit is not all work though. He was anyways scheduled to make a personal visit. He's just clubbing work with it since he's there anyway. Jay will be joining him, say those in the know.

Less than a week after TOI had reported that the ECB wasn't keen on signing the ICC 's Members' Participation Agreement (MPA) owing to their displeasure regarding the FTP draft, Graves wrote to ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney and informed him about the same.

The ECB will not be in a position to support the proposal for ICC events from 2023-31. The impact of the proposed schedule on bilateral cricket is a serious concern for ECB, Graves wrote.

The ICC has taken a stand that it will deduct a share of BCCI 's (annual) revenue if it does not receive tax exemptions for the 2016 World T20 that was held in India. Further, the ICC has conveyed to the BCCI that their position as hosts for the 2021 T20 World Cup and the 2023 50-over World Cup remain in doubt if tax exemptions are not guaranteed for the same.

BCCI, on the other hand, is clear that tax exemptions are not their domain but entirely that of the Indian government. Now, the catch here is that the ICC chairman ( Shashank Manohar ) is from India. He's twice been BCCI president. He's been associated with cricket administration in India for more than two decades. To top it, he's a lawyer. He understands these intricacies better than most, say BCCI sources.

These matters surrounding finances, ICC 's effort to keep the BCCI relatively absent from its revised governance structure and their effort to push the new FTP, among other things, have clearly been bothering the members here.

With Graves' letter signalling a firm stand and sources in the ECB telling TOI that "England will not be party to what the ICC 's planning", Ganguly and Shah's visit all the more begins to appear like a "friendly" meeting coming up.

Both the boards have spelt it out - the ECB on record and the BCCI off it (considering a new body has just come in) - that they could refrain from signing the MPA and the caveat, if carried out, could have a historical impact on how cricket has been run across the world over the decades.

The meeting in London could take a look at the near future.

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