By Nikhil Bapat
Mumbai: Vinod Rai, head of Committee of Administrators (COA), on Friday said India‘s Champions Trophy participation will be known only after the BCCI SGM on May 7 and they are ready for all “possible scenarios”. The squad for the Champions Trophy has not yet been selected with BCCI already skipping the ICC deadline of April 25 but Rai didn’t want to read too much into it. “There is no such thing as a deadline. The Champions Trophy will start on June 1. The deadlines are fixed so that there is some kind of system in place,” Rai told reporters on the sidelines of a book launch. Rai urges Sachin to speak up to ensure improvement in cricket administration in India
Asked what are the possible options, he replied: “How can I tell you now? We are ready with all possible scenarios. So let the process happen which is supposed to take place and then we will see what to do. I can’t say it in advance. I am confident that it will be a good decision. Whatever decision you want, that will happen, but by chance if it doesn’t happen, then we will see. It is a part of the game. Let it unfold slowly, let’s see how it progresses, what happens,” he added. Rai refused to answer whether COA will overrule SGM decision if they decide to pull-out of Champions Trophy.
“This is a hypothetical question. Let the SGM first take a decision. I have requested the acting President, I have requested the acting Secretary to convene an SGM and the SGM has been convened on May 7,” Rai said. He also dead-batted the question if BCCI will announce the squad before May 7. “They [BCCI officials] have just come back from Dubai and the players are still playing in the IPL. So we will sit with them [BCCI officials] and discuss with them what road map needs to be followed and how we go about it.” BCCI SGM to be held on May 7; Champions Trophy participation to be discussed
Asked if COA and eligible BCCI officials are on the same page on this matter, he quipped:”We are 100 percent on the same page. As you know, they had an SGM before they went to the ICC meeting. The next day, I invited them to talk to us and we discussed in detail what they had decided, what we had negotiated. After all they are the office bearers, they need to represent BCCI, so they represented BCCI in the ICC.”
Rai said that COA is aware that ICC did not pay need to BCCI’s viewpoint. “The ICC had not listed to their viewpoint. We will discuss again and we will come to a solution. That solution will be to your satisfaction. Some things didn’t work out the way we wanted it to be but there is always an avenue open. So there is nothing to worry about.”
Rai insisted that the negotiation doors are still open and nothing is lost. “Don’t worry, we will not let anyone down. Nothing to worry about, nothing is lost and it is not a closed chapter,” he assured. “It is still in the process of negotiation. What happens when you negotiate, like for example when you go to buy a vegetable you try and bargain, similarly an offer has been made and we will examine it,” Rai concluded.