Committee of Administrators and BCCI officials are not on the same page. ‘India cricket stands to suffer from the prevailing situation,” laments a senior BCCI office-bearer as CoA has issued a diktat to announce the Indian squad for ICC Champions Trophy. The move will “sabotage Indian interest” says a fuming BCCI official, who has been in the centre to build consensus within the BCCI to sending the letter to ICC.
On Thursday CoA directed the BCCI to convene a selection committee meet and announce the Indian squad for the ICC Champions Trophy “immediately”. The CoA asked BCCI’s Amitabh Choudhary why April 25 deadline was not adhered for team selection. The COA also questioned the manner in which BCCI negotiated the entire revenue model deal with the ICC at a meet held in Dubai recently. The CoA’s directive makes it amply clear that the Indian cricket team will not pull out of the high-profile tournament.
“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,” the CoA wrote in a letter to Choudhary.
The BCCI officials believe, this move will cause a severe damage to the Indian interests in the ICC. “There is a wolf in the sheep clothing. The sheep clothing is in our own system and the wolf is in the ICC,” said the fuming official. “We never said that the Indian team will not participate in the Champions Trophy. There is an MPA in place. BCCI has always honoured its contractual obligations. What did we say? We wanted the other party to respect the contract as well.”
The CoA in its communiqué has reminded the BCCI 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 camp maintains the CoA stand will hurt players interest than doing any good for Indian cricket. “When your legitimate demands are not met, you need to build pressure. That pressure is diffused,” says the officials. “We will not let Indian cricket and Indian cricketers’ interests suffer. It’s just that the struggle now becomes longer and tougher for us.”
With Supreme Court-appointed CoA calling shots, the BCCI office-bearers for now will have no choice. However, they remain confident that sooner or later ICC will have to respect the original MPA. The amendments are illegal and won’t stand in the court of law.