The International Cricket Council has launched an urgent investigation after Essel Group, the company behind the now-defunct Indian Cricket League, began registering companies with names that appear to be rival national cricket boards, raising fears of a future split in world cricket.
The matter was discussed during last week’s ICC board meeting in Dubai, as was the recent registration of website domain names, including worldcricketcouncil.co.in, by an employee of the broadcaster Ten Sports, which is a subsidiary of the Essel-owned Zee Entertainment Enterprises.Cricket Australia was the first body to be alerted to the issue last December and has subsequently objected to the registration of Australia Cricket Control Limited by the subsidiary Essel Corporation Mauritius. New Zealand Cricket has also issued similar proceedings against the establishment of New Zealand Cricket Limited, Kiwi Cricket limited and Aotearoa Cricket Limited (after the Maori name for the country) by the same company.
Cricket Scotland, an ICC associate member, has found itself similarly involved, with the board aware of a company being set up in Edinburgh under the name of Cricket Control Scotland Limited. Cricket Scotland wrote to its founder earlier this year to seek an explanation, setting a deadline of 6 April for a response, but has not heard back.At the same time, a number of website domain names, which include cricketassociationofengland.co.in and other variants thereof, have been registered, with their origin traced back to Deepak Srivastava, a senior IT manager at Ten Sports.