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‘Negative’ BCCI ordered to select Indian cricket team for ICC Champions Trophy

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was dilly-dallying on picking the Indian cricket team for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in the wake of a revenue battle with the world body

cricket Updated: May 04, 2017 20:00 IST
Champions Trophy 2017
The ICC Champions Trophy will be played in UK from June 1 to 18. Defending champions India’s first match is against Pakistan in Birmingham on June 4. (AP)

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) in a strongly-worded statement to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has asked the cricket body to select the Indian cricket squad for the ICC Champions Trophy, starting in the United Kingdom on June 1.

Read | ICC Champions Trophy: Administrators slam BCCI’s negative, combative approach

The deadline for the team selection was April 25, but BCCI did not abide by it in an apparent protest over ICC’s decision to implement a new financial model that would see India losing substantial revenue. Several BCCI top officials even threatened to pull out of the marquee event.

The COA, led by former CAG Vinod Rai, had earlier said that such a stance was not welcome. The COA released a statement on Thursday saying the BCCI’s ‘combative’ and ‘negative’ approach should not impact the Indian team. It also asked the cricket body to convene a selection meeting at the earliest.

Read | ICC row: Vinod Rai’s directive reins in BCCI officials ahead of Sunday’s SGM

COA’s statement

In a letter addressed to BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and marked to all members of the Board, the COA said: “It would be appropriate to make all necessary preparations for ensuring that Team India can successfully defend its title in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which commences on 1st June 2017.

“You are aware that the squad representing India at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was to be submitted by 25th April 2017 but the squad has not even been selected as yet. Please convene a meeting of the selection committee for selecting the squad immediately. The squad can then be submitted to the ICC without prejudice to BCCI’s legal rights.”

Read | ICC Champions Trophy: BCCI warned not to spoil relationship with world body

Uncertainty, confusion over team undesirable

The BCCI had threatened to pull out of Champions Trophy after a revamped revenue model was proposed to replace the existing ‘Big Three’ model. BCCI’s share would reduce from USD 570 million to USD 293 million, according to estimates, in the new model. However, the threats didn’t go down well with the CoA who had earlier stated that a discussion would be appropriate than such measures.

Read | BCCI’s double standards exposed after India women’s team leaves in secrecy

“Team India should be provided with a supportive environment to showcase Indian cricket instead of being surrounded with uncertainty and confusion. There has been more than enough negativity surrounding Team India’s participation in the ICC Champions Trophy and the sooner the same is put to rest the better. The players’ interests are paramount and they must be given the best chance to prepare for, defend and retain the ICC Champions Trophy,” the letter stated.

Read | BCCI to miss deadline for ICC Champions Trophy team submission

BCCI have lost sight

The CoA lambasted the approach undertaken by the BCCI and further stated: “The BCCI appears to have lost sight of the fact that it attained a pre-eminent position in the ICC not by a combative approach but by building consensus and ensuring a positive image including by helping other cricket boards in their time of need.”

Of the eight nations that are to take part in the tournament, India is the only team that is yet to announce their squad.