Battle lines are blurring rapidly within the Indian cricket board, which was a house vertically divided till the recent past. As part of the ongoing rapprochement, Board president N. Srinivasan has not only revived one of the pet projects of veteran administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya but also made him its head.Srinivasan himself requested the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president to head a project similar to the New Areas Development Programme (NADP) that he had launched about nine years ago. Dalmiya, 71, readily accepted the offer.Dalmiya as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had launched the ambitious NADP in May 2003. The project was aimed at unearthing the talent from the remotest parts of the country, both states and Union territories, and cricket gear and equipment was supplied to them as part of assistance.The project, however, was not a big success, largely due to lack of communication between the BCCI and the targeted areas and travelling to far flung corners of North East and Union territories.Srinivasan revived the project at a recent working committee meeting in New Delhi, in the presence of Dalmiya, who was representing the CAB. Dalmiya accepted the offer, according to an official present at the meeting.The other members of the committee are BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, joint secretary Anurag Thakur, and Kasi Viswanathan, secretary of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Two other committee members – BCCI’s chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty and CAB’s Chitrak Mitra – were part of the NADP panel in 2003.advertisementOutlining the brief for the Dalmiya- headed committee, Srinivasan said at the meeting that the project would aim to “look after the development and promotion of cricket in areas outside the jurisdiction of the 30 full members of the BCCI”.BCCI insiders, however, indicated another reason for constituting the special committee. Pointing to the larger picture, they say that by reviving the NADP, Srinivasan has made a smart move to consolidate his new- found friendship with Dalmiya. Both have been in rivals camps since mid-2000s.”But that is past. Now, they are on the same wavelength, which can only be good for the BCCI. Srinivasan has in the recent past consulted the vastly experienced Dalmiya on a few tricky issues concerning the Board, which underlines the increasing bonhomie between them,” a top Board official who has been close to the two veteran officials told Mail Today.”The first step towards the ‘friendship’ was the Shashank Manohar- Srinivasan group’s decision to withdraw the 1996 World Cup fund embezzlement case against Dalmiya in September 2009. It was followed by a series of positive gestures from Manohar and Srinivasan,” he said.Recently, the Board members felt that since all the meetings are always held at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai, the affiliated associations were being “neglected”. “So, it was decided that the working committee meetings would be rotated amongst major centres, and the first meeting following this change was held in Dalmiya’s home city Kolkata, on October 29,” he said.The coming together of the ‘rivals’ can only be good for the game. Almost nine years ago, the areas covered under the NADP for unearthing talent and developing the game were Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Pondicherry and Sikkim.”The NADP project in 2003 was not a great deal of success. It was largely due to the travelling problems to the remote corners of the selected areas and lack of communication with them,” Gautam Dasgupta, convenor of the NADP in 2003, told Mail Today.