• England in India 2012-13

ECB makes tour apology to BCCI

George Dobell
December 3, 2012
Joe Root scored a hundred in the Performance Programme's first match on tour © Getty Images

The ECB has issued an apology to the BCCI following its failure to gain all the necessary clearances for the England Performance Programme's (EPP) tour of India.

ESPNcricinfo understands that, following a letter from the BCCI demanding to know why it had not been approached to grant permission for the tour, the ECB explained there had been an oversight and apologised. It is understood that the apology has been accepted and that the EPP tour will continue as planned.

While the incident will be an embarrassment to the ECB, there are some mitigating factors. It did have the authority of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for the tour and had presumed - erroneously as it transpired - that, as several officials within the MCA are also officials within the BCCI, it had all the permission required. The ECB has now accepted that the tour did not have the appropriate clearance.

The issue was exacerbated by the fact that several members of the England Test squad, including Steven Finn, took part in the EPP game against the Dr DY Patil Academy side. Finn, trying to regain fitness after an injury that ruled him out of the first two Tests, claimed four wickets in the first innings and went a long way to proving his readiness for a recall. Some at the BCCI were understood to be underwhelmed at the lending hand being offered to the touring side in the middle of a hotly contested Test series. Some within the BCCI are also reportedly less than enamoured with Dnyandeo Yashwantrao Patil and Vijay Patil, his son who is the founder of the Academy and a vice-president of the MCA.

BCCI officials were also concerned that the likes of Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler, who are part of England's limited-overs squads, were using the EPP tour to gain a familiarity with Indian conditions ahead of their international commitments in the country over the next few weeks.

In September the BCCI issued a letter to all state associations in which BCCI president N Srinivasan informed them they must "not entertain any foreign teams without the prior permission of the board".

Nitin Dalal, a joint secretary of the MCA, said: "We had received a letter with regard to the England Performance squad training at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy and had forwarded it to the DYPSA authorities. Today, we received a reply from the Academy and have forwarded it to the Board."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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