The BCCI today cleared the Indian cricket team’s participation in next month’s Champions Trophy, ending a fortnight-long suspense with a massive climbdown from their initial aggressive stance. The Board made the decision at a Special General Meeting, where it was also announced that the squad for the eight-team event, starting June 1, will be picked tomorrow. It was decided that no legal recourse will be taken against the ICC as per the diktat of the Committee Of Administrators.
The SGM completely toed the COA instruction of sending the team and not serving any notice to global body, which has nearly halved the BCCI’s revenue share and cut down on its executive powers by revamping the controversial ‘Big Three’ administrative structure. It was a setback for the ousted N Srinivasan faction which was keen to take an aggressive stand. Srinivasan, in fact, joined the discussions via Skype to air his views but didn’t take a confrontational stand.
“The outcome of the meeting has been positive. India will participate in the Champions Trophy. There is no pulling out. Tomorrow the squad will be sent to the ICC,” IPL governing council member Rajeev Shukla told reporters after the meeting. “The honorary Secretary (Amitabh Chaudhary) has been authorised to renegotiate with ICC as far as the financial model is concerned. There will be no binding on him.
“Our approach should be that of trying to resolve through dialogue rather than being confrontational. There are five six issues regarding revenue and governance model which need to be sorted,” Shukla said. COA head Vinod Rai said he had already informed the players that they were going for the event starting June 1 in England.
“Of course I am relieved that they are playing Champions Trophy. But players always knew they were going. I had spoken personally to Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli that you guys are playing Champions Trophy. I have always said that USD 100 million more is okay,” Rai said.
“India can make up the money by playing bilateral series. They get Rs 45 crore for playing a single match at home,” he added after dropping in to attend IPL GC meeting. While it is being perceived as a climbdown but Amitabh Chaudhary has made it clear that participation in the Champions Trophy doesn’t mean concerns are not there.
“BCCI reserves all legal options against the ICC. Playing in the Champions Trophy does not mean we agree with the ICC Revenue and governance model. Not only revenue share but governance structure is also an issue,” Chaudhary told newspersons.
However, the former Jharkhand top cop agreed that negotiations should continue.”The Negotiation process will be an ongoing one before the ICC Annual Conference in June. Other members I spoke to during the April round of meetings are also keen on amicably resolving the matter,” Chaudhary said.
“The SGM is unanimous on one aspect. Our position as the predominant cricket country shouldn’t be diminished. Most ICC members empathise with India. Now renegotiation is a sensitive issue. I wouldn’t like to comment on any figures,” he said.
Like Shukla, Chaudhary also praised COA’s role in trying to take all BCCI units on board. It was learnt that when the discussion on whether to send a notice to ICC took place, one of the West Zone unit official apprised that if Members Participation Agreement is invoked, one needs to give a 30-day notice period to cure the breach but India’s first match against Pakistan on June 4 is before the stipulated time.
Asked about Srinivasan’s aggressive stance, Chaudhary said, “He gave his views as he has an intricate knowledge on ICC issues.”
The joint Secretary also dodged questions about Shashank Manohar being the bete noire of BCCI. “I don’t believe individuals deal with institutions. Two institutions are involved and not individuals,” he said. Admitting that team selection has been delayed, Chaudhary said that coach Anil Kumble and other support staff’s contracts, which come up for renewal after Champions Trophy, will be discussed very soon.