ECB, BCCI to ink new deal: Report

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Media reports claimed on Thursday that ECB and BCCI would sign a &quot;ground-breaking&quot; agreement later this month with provision for an Ashes-like series.

Updated: January 01, 2009 13:26 IST
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Brought closer by England's decision to defy terror and going ahead with the Test series in India, cricket boards from both the countries would sign a "ground-breaking" agreement later this month with provision for an Ashes-like series, media reports claimed on Thursday.

According to a report in 'The Guardian', the new agreement would see Indian Premier League authorities budging from their rigid stance that the English cricketers would be allowed in the second edition of the IPL only if they commit for the entire event.

"England will reap the benefits of their decision to return to India following the Mumbai terrorist attacks when they announce a ground-breaking agreement between the two countries this month which will include an Ashes-like five-Test series," the report said.

"England will also have a greater say in the future of the Champions League, could be given more participation in the event and may even stage it in the future," it said.

Noting that over the last three decades, most India-England Test series featured just three matches, the daily said both the countries would now feature in a five-match, Ashes-like series.

"Increasing the number to five is a result of the much closer relationship between the ECB and the BCCI following England's decision to return to play Test matches in Chennai and Mohali," the daily said.

The negotiation between both the Boards featured England and Wales Cricket Board Chairman Giles Clarke, ECB CEO David Collier, BCCI president Shashank Manohar and secretary N Srinivasan, it added.

Explaining how the relationship between the Boards improved, the report quoted an unnamed ECB official as saying, "There was a lot of hard work involved and some extremely complex negotiations to get the players back (for the Test series)...But as a result of all the stuff we went through the two Boards got to know each other a lot better and something more than mutual respect has emerged. Some serious friendships have been made, too.

"We have come to understand each other's positions for example we can see exactly where they are coming from with the (rival) ICL (Indian Cricket League) and as a result I think there is the possibility that the game can go forward in a number of areas. The possibilities are immense."

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