Champions Trophy. Or, no Champions Trophy. Opinions, decision makers and cricketing powers are divided. The debate is much bigger than India’s participation in the ICC quadrennial tournament.
India faces a threat of isolation from the world cricket in the event of the extreme step. To not participate in the Champions Trophy. The International Cricket Council will suffer major financial losses. The challenge for the Indian cricket governance and the global administrative body is not about the one odd tournament. The repercussions are bigger, long lasting.
“We realise that pulling out of the Champions Trophy would also mean pulling out of the future ICC events, including the World Cup as per the Members Participation Agreement (MPA). But we have our back against the wall and there is no option left with us because to come down from $571m to $293m is just not possible.“Also, it is not just about the money. We are also not willing to accept the changes in governance model. At the end of the day, it is about our country and the interest of Indian cricket which cannot be sacrificed under any circumstance. We had requested them (ICC) to wait for 2-3 months, but (Shashank) Manohar took the opportunity to kick us when we are down,” a BCCI source present in Dubai told Indian media.
If India surrenders now, its clout in global cricket is gone, if not forever then certainly for long, really long. If ICC decides to take the hit, it will not just be about the Champions Trophy. The revenues and prospects will decline for each and every ICC tournament. If global cricket thinks in terms of isolating India, each board might think twice before taking a call on the ‘mint’ of world cricket. Afterall, it’s a series with India that fetches best revenues for any host board.
Back to Champions Trophy. No analysis. Simple facts. About the ICC partners for the event. What if India is not there:
ICC too on its part has played the IPL card to pressurize India. The threat is not to grant NoC to the players for IPL. There is a history of players quitting their national teams for their financial interests in IPL. If good sense did not prevail timely, cricket may head for its worst ever controversy. Biggest ever threat. Bigger than the Kerry Packer days.