Exclusive | India vs Pakistan: BCCI reserves right regarding participation in World Cup - Anirudh Chaudhry
The Pulwama attack wherein a suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF jawans has seen relation between arch-rivals India and Pakistan hit an all-time low. Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised action, cricket fans want Virat Kohli and boys to boycott Pakistan and not play them at Manchester on June 16 in their group game of the 2019 World Cup. While many are questioning if the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) will allow BCCI to do that, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry answered in the affirmative.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, the treasurer cited the Special General Meeting of the board on June 22, 2018 and said that the Indian board was yet to sign the MPA and that gave the BCCI right to decide on whether it will play the arch-rivals in the World Cup.
“The BCCI had resolved at the Special General Meeting that the members participation agreement shall not be executed without the authorization of the general body of the BCCI and the BCCI reserves all its rights regarding the MPA and regarding its participation in any other multi-nation tournament or games not covered by the MPA. That answers your question,” he said.
Also watch: Chetan Chauhan says not easy for India to boycott Pakistan at World Cup 2019
Another board official told Hindustan Times that in the current circumstance, the BCCI can refuse to play Pakistan as the idea of conceding the match to Pakistan if India doesn’t play comes only after signing the MPA.
“The India board reserves all rights regarding the MPA and that has been the consistent position of the BCCI. Therefore, the BCCI cannot be forced to even play in the World Cup. There may be some provision where if we do not play them in a match, they get the points. But as of now, the BCCI as an organisation has not even given its authorisation of the signing of the MPA and therefore it is free to lay down its conditions regarding Pakistan,” he clarified.
But a state association official said that for India to boycott Pakistan in the showpiece event, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) needs to allow the board officials to function.
“Unfortunately, the CoA chairman does not want to allow the BCCI to function and take decisions of a policy nature. This despite having the authority only on matters of administration and not on matters of policy,” he said.
Earlier, ICC CEO Dave Richardson said that the governing body has no reasons to make any changes to the proposed World Cup schedule and that all matches will be played as planned.
“We haven’t written to the boards as yet,” Richardson said on Tuesday to mark the 100-day countdown to the tournament. “Our thoughts are with the people that were impacted by the incident. And we are monitoring the situation with our members including the BCCI and PCB. Certainly, there are no indications any of the matches, including the Pakistan-India match, will not be played as planned at the World Cup. But as I say we will continue to monitor the situation.”