London: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has aplogised to the Indian Cricket Board following its failure to gain all the necessary clearances for the England Performance Programme's (EPP) tour of India. Following a letter by 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.
According to ESPNCricinfo, the BCCI has accepted the apology 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. 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.
The ECB has accepted that the tour did not have the appropriate clearance.
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. 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."
"The board has written a letter to us asking for an explanation on the issue and we have forwarded that to Mr Vijay Patil, who runs the DY Patil Academy, asking him to reply," MCA president, Ravi Savant, said. "We will forward his reply to the BCCI. It's a question of not following the proper protocol."