What’s the story?
The Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) may not name the Indian squad for the 2017 Champions Trophy within the deadline of April 25 stipulated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as they await a final confirmation on the much-disputed revenue sharing model in the sport, the Indian Express reported on Sunday.
Speculation is rife that the BCCI could even force the Indian team to pull out of the Champions Trophy tournament in June should the sport’s governing body go ahead with their plans to roll back the existing Big Three model for revenue sharing which sees India, Australia and England pocket a lion’s share of the income generated from the game.
With a second Special General Meeting (SGM) of the BCCI scheduled once the ICC quarterly meet in Dubai finishes on April 2014, the BCCI are set to play a wait-and-watch game before making a final call.
“We have not informed ICC that the team will be picked late. If needed, we will inform them later but everything will be decided after the ICC meeting. What shall we say to ICC? That we are picking a team which might not play Champions Trophy,” a top BCCI official confirmed to The Indian Express.
At the recent SGM conducted by the BCCI, the members had reaffirmed their opposition to any changes in the Big Three revenue model which was introduced in 2014 by then ICC Chairman N Srinivasan. They had even hinted that they could even pull out of the upcoming major ICC event should any decision on the matter not be deferred until at least June after the completion of the Champions Trophy.
While BCCi acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary tried to play down the threat, it is pretty clear that the BCCI is not willing to compromise on the financial model and is set to take on ICC to the fullest extent possible.
The heart of the matter
The ICC is set to meet in Dubai from April 24 to April 27 where they will discuss the revenue model to be adopted as well as contemplating on a number of proposed radical changes to the way the sport is being played.
With the deadline to name the squads for the Champions Trophy just a couple of days away, the BCCI has made it clear that it won’t be honouring the mandate as they have put the selection committee meeting on hold at least until the board representatives at the ICC meet – acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and CEO Rahul Johri – returns to India.
A final decision on India’s participation will then be taken at the special SGM where the decision at the ICC meet will be deliberated upon. Though it is understood that most of the office bearers are against the extreme step of withdrawing from the Champions Trophy, there is still a possibility that it could happen.
Whatever the outcome of the ICC meeting, one thing is for certain that the BCCI will not be honouring the April 25 deadline for naming the Indian squad for the 2017 Champions Trophy. Already at loggerheads with the ICC over a number of issues, it will be interesting to see how the ICC responds to this step taken by the BCCI.
The possibility of India pulling out of the Champions Trophy is refusing to die down. In fact, the chances are only increasing by the day. BCCI looks in no mood to compromise and it would be a shame if a major ICC event is forced to be conducted without one of the major superpowers in the sport.
Hopefully, the BCCI and the ICC can talk the matter out and at least work out a compromise where a decision on the revenue model to be adopted is delayed until the Champions Trophy is concluded.