Today (April 25) is the last date to name the squad of ICC Champions Trophy. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is in no mood to adhere to the deadline. The Indian cricket board will wait for the ongoing International Cricket Council special general meeting till Thursday, where reforms for revenue sharing and governance will be put to vote.
However, the BCCI has not informed the ICC about its decision to defer the team selection. “If needed we will inform the ICC later but everything will be decided after the ICC meeting (on April 27). What should we tell the ICC? That we are picking a team that might not play in the Champions Trophy,” Indian Express has quoted an anonymous BCCI official as saying.
A threat of India pulling out of the Champions Trophy, to be hosted by England in June, can also not be ruled out. The move that threatens to potentially divide the world cricket will not be unlawful. There is a provision in the members participation agreement for a team to pull out of the tournament over a disagreement. BCCI is using the provision and India’s financial muscle in global cricket to protect its interest in ICC’s revenue sharing model.
ICC is going to vote on scrapping the “Big Three” revenue-sharing model that allows India, England and Australia bag major share in ICC revenues from the game. If this is replaced by the revised provisions, India is set to lose out around US$ 200 million from its ICC revenues.
Supreme Court has authorised the acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary to represent BCCI at the ICC meeting. CEO Rahul Johri is accompanying him at the meeting. Chaudhary has made it clear that the Indian board is not going to compromise on the financial model, that was introduced in 2014 when N Srinivasan was the ICC chairman.
However, there is no consensus in the BCCI on the ultimate step of opting out of the Champions Trophy, the threat of India taking this extreme step may not be fully ruled out at this stage. What is certain, that the world cricket will wait anxiously till India announces its final decision, and the team.