By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

July 15 - Commonwealth Games chief organiser Suresh Kalmadi (pictured) has approached Indian cricket officials for financial help as compensation for refusing to postpone a Test series against Australia that clashes with the event in New Delhi.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have been asked to give Rs 100 crore (£14 million/$21 million) to the Games, the biggest event to be staged in India since the 1982 Asian Games.

The Indian Olympic Association, headed by Kalmadi, claim that the BCCI's decision to stage a Test series against Australia during the same time as the Games will damage television viewers and make it less attractive to sponsors.

"A letter has been received for financial help in holding the Commonwealth Games," confirmed a spokesman for the BCCI.

"Its up to the working committee which meets on July 31 to take a decision."

Thanks to the success of the Indian Premier League, the BCCI is one of the richest national governing bodies in the world.

Last year their income was Rs 1000 (£140 million/$215 million) and they recently negotiated an international television to broadcast the IPL for $612 million (£398 million).

But the BCCI may look unfavourably on Kalmadi's request because they are still angry that he put them under pressure to change the dates of the Test series, which is due to begin on October 2 in Mohali - the day before the Opening Ceremony in Delhi - with the second match starting on October 10 in Bangalore, which would be due to finish the day after the Closing Ceremony.

The spokesman for the BCCI said: "They tried to force us to change the dates for the Australia series through the Sports Ministry.

“We found no reason to do that because no match is scheduled in New Delhi and the series will not be telecast on Doordarshan, the broadcaster for the Games.

"The Games and the series don’t clash at all."

They are also angry that they were criticised last month by Kalmadi because they are refusing to send a side to compete at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in November.

Kalmadi, chairman of the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee, claimed that the sport had become too commericalised and that India's top players "don’t play without prize money".

Last year the BCCI gave the All India Football Federation Rs 25 crore (£3.5 million/$5.3 million) to help them prepare for the Asian Cup.

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