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ICC may quit Lord's after 95 years
May 14, 2004 17:26 IST
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering re-locating its headquarters from Lord's after 95 years to Dubai.
ICC president Ehsan Mani and chief executive Malcolm Speed met senior Dubai government officials on Wednesday and said they were "pleased with the positive response" from them.
"Should we move at all, we need to have very, very good reasons to justify the move," Mani told Reuters on Thursday in a break from an ICC cricket committee meeting in Dubai.
He said the sport's governing body was thinking of leaving their London base - they also have offices in Monaco -- because of lack of space and the increasing cost of running an office there.
"We met some high-ranking Dubai government officials and had some positive talks."
"We have offers from many other countries like Malaysia, Jersey, Singapore, Switzerland, Monaco, Ireland and Australia."
"Even the Indian board has written to us that they would be interested should ICC decide to shift its base to a Test-playing country."
"There is a possibility that we may have our headquarters somewhere in London but for us London will be like any other city if we move out of Lord's which has been our base since 1909."
"At present we have two offices -- one at Lord's and the other at Monaco (for tax purposes) -- and we would like to have both offices working under one roof," he added.
"We have just come back from Kuala Lumpur and we were looking at various aspects in a particular city. First and foremost is the cricket culture there (to consider), security and safety, its location (whether it suits us logistically or not), taxation policies, visa and migration laws," he said.
Mani was impressed with facilities in Dubai, whose international airline Emirates is the main sponsor of the ICC elite umpire panel, but stopped short of saying whether it was one of the favourite potential venues.
"The decision is not easy since many other countries have shown interest but we will narrow down the choice to just two cities before submitting the proposal to our board meeting, slated by the end of June in London," Mani said.
"The profile of the ICC and its regular meetings, which are covered widely by the media, will add a lot of value to the location," he said.
A move may take up to 18 months to complete, he added.
The area hosts the international Sharjah Trophy and has a large population of cricket-loving Indians and English.