Irked by the delaying tactics of the BCCI, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) today instructed the cricket Board to “immediately announce the Champions Trophy squad”. Having already sent a couple of communications earlier, today’s the seven-point letter to joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary is by far the most strongly-worded. The richest cricket body has deliberately missed the April 25 deadline for submission of the squad in the wake of ICC proposing a new financial model which reduces BCCI’s revenues from USD 570 million to USD 293 million.
The CoA has copied the e-mail to all office-bearers about how the delay in team selection is portraying Indian cricket and cricketers in “negative” light.
The point No. 5 of the CoA diktat states:”You are aware that the squad representing India at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was to be submitted by 25th April 2017 but the squad has not even been selected as yet. Please convene a meeting of the selection committee for selecting the squad immediately. The squad can then be submitted to the ICC without prejudice to BCCI’s legal rights.”
The COA told that the office-bearers should keep in mind while mulling a pull-out that “India are the best team in the world today”. “Team India should be provided with a supportive environment to showcase Indian cricket instead of being surrounded with uncertainty and confusion. There has been more than enough negativity surrounding Team India’s participation in the ICC Champions Trophy and the sooner the same is put to rest the better,” the letter states.
The COA reminded the office-bearers and state unit officials that the “players’ interest should be paramount”. “The focus should be on enabling our team to achieve even greater heights and further laurels, which will automatically attract higher revenues,” the letter further stated.
The COA pointed out that the officials running the cricket in the country have lost sight of the fact that India’s position in global cricket has been achieved by consensus and not by confrontational approach. “The BCCI appears to have lost sight of the fact that it attained a pre-eminent position in the ICC not by a combative approach but by building consensus and ensuring a positive image including by helping other cricket boards in their time of need.”
In the letter, the COA also questioned need to send a legal notice to ICC when the matter is yet to be placed before the general body. “In the above circumstances, there is no reason why any notice should be issued to the ICC before the members of BCCI have had the opportunity to discuss the matter and take a well-considered decision as mentioned in our email dated 3rd May 2017.
“We do not believe that BCCI’s legal rights will be prejudiced in any manner if a notice is not issued to the ICC prior to the SGM. A decision of such magnitude needs to be taken after following due process and the correct forum for that is the SGM. The Committee of Administrators will consider the matter of issuing a notice to the ICC only after the SGM takes a decision.”
The COA also questioned the manner in which BCCI negotiated the whole deal. “We believe that the BCCI has not yet given the possibility of a negotiated outcome a fair chance. As communicated to you during our meeting on 21st April 2017, the resolutions passed during the Special General Meeting on 18th April 2017 did not give you any flexibility to negotiate with the ICC and other cricket boards,” it states.
“The General Body of the BCCI has itself recognised the need to adopt a collaborative/ non-confrontational approach with the ICC and other cricket boards during the Special General Meeting held on 19th February 2016,” the COA reminded.