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June 01, 2003 15:25 IST

BCCI to chalk out plan for growth of cricket in 12 states

In an unprecedented move to spread cricket to all parts of the country, the Cricket Board has decided to chalk out a plan and offer all assistance to 12 states and union territories participating at a conclave of sports ministers and officials at Kolkata on Monday.

The Board, which convened the meeting as part of its ambitious project christened 'New Areas development Programme', has decided to bear all direct expenses such as cost of basic cricket practice equipment, fees and travel of coaches and consultants as well as ground equipment and fitness equipment, he said.

The Board has invited the sports ministers and sports secretaries of 12 states and union territories as also the Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Vikram Verma to attend the conclave.

The states and union territories which would attend the interaction with office bearers of BCCI include Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Pondicherry and Sikkim.

Rahul Dravid joins Scottish side

India's star batsman Rahul Dravid will be the cynosure of all eyes as he debuts for Scottish Saltires against the Hampshire Hawks in the National League Second Division in Edinburgh on Sunday.

Dravid arrived in Scotland on Wednesday accompanied by wife Vijeta and will play 12 one-day games for Scotland.

"I suppose you could call (the summer with Saltires) an extended honeymoon, with a bit of work as well. Everyone tells me Scotland is beautiful and hopefully we will get a chance to see it," the Indian vice-captain said.

"I am also looking forward to meeting everyone and getting to know the culture," Dravid, with a Test average of more than 50, was quoted as saying in The Independent on Sunday.

Dravid's 45,000-pound contract is being funded mostly by NRIs who have been raising money through dinners, raffles and donations.

Gwynne Jones, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Cricket Union was keen to hire an Indian international "because cricket is a great game for bringing different ethnic populations together."

The player he had in mind was ace batsman Sachin Tendulkar but the Indian team coach John Wright suggested Dravid's name. Wright told him, "The person who is really going to do things for you, on and off the pitch, is Rahul Dravid."

USA may host World cup games

The International Cricket Council is looking into the possibility of the United States hosting some games at the 2007 World Cup.

The West Indies will be the official host.

Nine members of the ICC Development Committee and seven delegates from the USA Cricket Association, including president Atul Rai, met in New York over the past two days discussing the potential growth of cricket in the US.

"The ICC has been looking at the option of fast tracking cricket development in the USA and this includes the possibility of some 2007 World Cup games being played in the US," said ICC's Global Development Manager Andrew Eade.

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