Stalwarts of Indian cricket Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are a part of a group of 12 former cricketers who want India to play the upcoming Champions Trophy in England. The other 10 players, namely Zaheer Khan, Gundappa Viswanath, Sandeep Patil, Sanjay Manjrekar, Aakash Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad, Saba Karim, Murali Kartik, and Deep Dasgupta too were of the opinion that Team India should participate in the prestigious tournament and try and win the coveted trophy for the consecutive time. The word of all the aforesaid 12 cricketers is of great significance at a time when the clouds of uncertainty are hovering over India’s participation in the tournament.
A report published in EspnCricinfo has confirmed the same. The report claimed that the cricket website had approached all the above mentioned cricketers to seek their opinion on the matter. The uncertainty over India’s participation arose after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) missed the April 25 deadline set by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to submit its squad for the tournament. The board had, in its reply, said the delay was due to “operational” reasons.
The concerns over India’s title-defence have only mounted since then, as BCCI was outvoted on reforms related to revenue and governance at the ICC Board meeting in April, bringing down its revenue share substantially. There were reports that the BCCI was mulling revoking the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) with the ICC, which would allow India to pull out of the Champions Trophy. Any such move, however, will have its own repercussions as the BCCI may have to pay a heavy penalty of up to INR 2,000 crore in that case.
As of now, the final decision on India’s participation in the Champions Trophy is likely to be taken by the BCCI at its special general body meeting on May 7 in Delhi.