CoA and BCCI at loggerheads over Champions Trophy participation?

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While there is still uncertainty over  India’s participation in the forthcoming 2017 Champions Trophy scheduled to begin on June 1, differences between the CoA  and the BCCI seems to be have come to the fore over the issue.

According to India Today news report, CoA has asked the BCCI to convene a selection meeting to pick the team for the ICC Champions Trophy. The BCCI had missed the April 25 deadline and is the only country among 8 to have not named their squad.  The BCCI is apparently miffed with the ICC over the new revenue model, that reduces India’s clout.

The BCCI has convened a SGM on May 7, while the CoA has warned that it will move to Supreme Court if it takes any drastic steps that hurts Indian cricket .The CoA in a letter has asked BCCI’s Amitabh Choudhary why the team has not yet been selected despite April 25 being the deadline.

The letter published by India Today reads :

Dear Mr. Choudhary,

1.You have already called for a Special General Meeting on 7th May 2017 (“SGM”) to conduct the following business:”To apprise the General Body of the BCCI on the discussions held with representatives of other Member Boards of the ICC and on the decisions taken at the ICC Meetings held on the 24th of April, 2017 and the 26th of April, 2017 and to take all necessary decisions pursuant thereto.”

2.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.

3.As mentioned in our email dated 3rd May 2017, the Committee of Administrators will extend all possible cooperation and support to any decision taken at the SGM which protects the interests of Indian cricket as a whole but will be duty bound to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court and take other necessary steps in the event the decision(s) taken at the SGM is/ are, in our view, against the interests of Indian cricket.

4.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. We also believe that it is in the interests of Indian cricket that the possibility of a negotiated outcome be fully and constructively pursued before the BCCI takes any irreversible step/ measure. Our discussions with the ICC and other cricket boards have revealed a trust deficit that the BCCI needs to do its part to address. At the same time, the ICC and other cricket boards have, during the said discussions, also expressed willingness to find common ground with the BCCI. The General Body of the BCCI has itself recognized the need to adopt a collaborative/ non-confrontational approach with the ICC and the other cricketing boards during the Special General Meeting on February 16, 2016.

5.In the meantime, it would be appropriate to make all necessary preparations for ensuring that Team India can successfully defend its title in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which commences on 1st June 2017. 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.

6.We believe that any decision taken at the SGM should be predicated on the fact that India has 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 players’ interests are paramount and they must be given the best chance to prepare for, defend and retain the ICC Champions Trophy. The focus should be on enabling our team to achieve even greater heights and further laurels, which will automatically attract higher revenues.  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.

7.As your email mentions that a majority of the Members of BCCI have urged you to send a notice to the ICC, we are also copying the Members on this email to communicate our views to them.

Yours faithfully,

The Supreme Court Appointed Committee of Administrators

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