The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), under fire for the Kotla pitch fiasco, is willing to consider a long standing demand to form a Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) for efficient and transparent functioning of the body.
Top DDCA officials, who met former Test cricketers on Saturday to discuss the issue in the aftermath of the Kotla fiasco, said such a committee comprising mainly of players can be formed only after it gets the nod from its executive committee.
The demand for such a committee had been gaining ground for sometime now and the pitch episode, which led to the abandonment of the recent India-Sri Lanka One-dayer, had triggered a wave of protests against the current office-bearers.
"It was a detailed and long meeting, during which the former cricketers have given some important, fruitful and positive suggestions. They have proposed a Cricket Improvement Committee for DDCA involving the former cricketers. We have accepted and welcomed the idea," DDCA President Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting.
"I think, forming CIC is a good proposal. But the final details will be worked out once we get the nod from our executive committee," he added.
The formation of such a committee is widely seen as an attempt to clip the wings of the powerful sports committee, which has come under the scanner for its controversial decisions and functioning. The former players who attended Saturday's meeting at Jaitley's residence included ex captain Bishan Singh Bedi, Madan Lal, Kirti Azad, Surinder Khanna and Venkat Sunderam.
Apart from Jaitley, DDCA Secretary S K Bansal and vice-president C K Khanna represented DDCA, while government nominee Vibhakar Shastri was present at the meeting, which lasted for close to three hours.
Azad, who has been at the forefront of a campaign to highlight the gross mismanagement in the DDCA, said, "We had a positive discussion and DDCA accepted our proposals. We are satisfied with the assurances, but will feel happier when the CIC comes into reality."
"They have assured us of taking steps and we also should give them some time. But if DCCA does not take any step in reality, we will resume our campaign," Azad added.
Bedi said that he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.
"We came to discuss about improvement of Delhi cricket. I am pleasantly satisfied with their response. DDCA has promised that they will do their best to imbibe a CIC in their set up," Bedi said.
The December 27 One-dayer between India and Sri Lanka at the Kotla was abandoned after 23.3 overs because of a dangerous pitch and Delhi was still awaiting its fate as an international venue following the disgraceful incident.
The International Cricket Council is expected to give its final verdict in the next couple of weeks. "Now the cricket season is on. They have assured us that once the current season gets over, the details about it will be finalised. So I think, by March the situation will be clear to us," Azad said.
While Bedi strongly advocated for major involvement of the former cricketers in the proposed CIC, Azad said current players like (Virender) Sehwag and (Gautam) Gambhir should also be given the chance to express their opinions.
"Besides the former cricketers, those players who have just retired should also be included into the committee so that they also can give their inputs for the improvement of the game in the state," Bedi said.
"There are ways to ensure involvement of the current cricketers also, who are busy with their games. The meeting should be scheduled at a time when those international starts can also attend those and contribute with their valuable inputs," Azad said.
Azad also said that after Saturday's parley they have put on hold their decision to bring a procession, which was scheduled for January 10, demanding a change in DDCA's work culture.
"Lets give them (DDCA) some time. We will march with 10,000 cricket lovers in the national capital if the DDCA fails to take the steps they have assured," Azad added.