What’s the story?
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has hired a leading law firm based in the United Kingdom as they prepare to send a legal notice to the International Cricket Council (ICC). As reported by the Times of India, BCCI has held two conference calls, one with its legal team and the other between the state units.
They have also drafted a notice citing violation of a contract, the Members Participation Agreement (MPA), and are all but prepared to not play the 2017 Champions Trophy. BCCI have claimed that the Board Members of the ICC has dishonoured the MPA by allowing policy changes in their revenue and governance model without their consent.
"The question here is not about whether BCCI should be sending the notice or not. A notice will be sent as per the legal norms because it is certainly a violation of an existing contract. The question is, are we prepared for repercussions post sending the notice," a senior cricket administrator was quoted by TOI.
Earlier, the BCCI was outvoted by a considerable margin of 13-1 on the newly proposed financial model at the recently held ICC Board meeting in Dubai. As many as nine Full Members and three Associates voted against India. The ICC Chairman, as well, went against India.
It was reported yesterday that all BCCI state units unanimously resolved to oppose the ICC. Amitabh Choudhary, the board’s acting secretary and Anirudh Chaudhary, the treasurer, held conference calls between 13 state units in a bid to figure out exactly how many are in favour of an eventual pullout.
The heart of the matter
It was back in 2014 when the MPA was signed. At that time, N Srinivasan was the chairman of the ICC and the MPA was registered in the UK courts of law. Therefore, it needs to be brought up in that country for any dispute resolution.
Moreover, according to the legalese, if BCCI want to invoke the MPA, they need to send a notice to the ICC and give the chief governing body at least 30 days to seek a reply.
A legal expert, however, explained to TOI, "the time frame can be a shorter one in cases like this” with the Champions Trophy set to begin on
Further, the BCCI is also awaiting the central government’s stance in this regard. The TOI sources claimed that the issue has now become very serious as it is no longer a question of money. It is now about India’s authority and respect in world cricket.
It was also reported that although Srinivasan’s advice was sought in the teleconference, the BCCI wants the administrator to stay away from the issue.
Although India’s participation in the ICC Champions Trophy still remains in doubt, the board has no objection to the national selection committee picking up a squad for the same. However, the team will be selected subject to ICC’s reply to the notice.
It is apparent that the BCCI’s major grouse does not evoke from the loss of revenue but from the International body’s highhandedness in changing the governance policies. Being the most powerful and richest cricketing body in the world, they can afford the luxury of taking on ICC and try and force them to meet their demands.
However, any hasty decision may have severe repercussions, the most hurting among them being isolation from the rest of the cricketing world.