The mood within ICC (International Cricket Council) suggests that no more bowing down orders from BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) will be tolerated.
In fact, should the board renege on the members’ participation agreement and boycott the June 1-18 Champions Trophy, then the tournament would go ahead sans India.
Time certainly have changed. “The Champions Trophy wasn’t discussed at the ICC’s board meeting, but much was said on the sidelines in Dubai… At least two Test-playing nations showed their disgust by declaring India could go ahead and not play in the Champions Trophy, but that the tournament wouldn’t be put on hold,” a well-placed source told to a Kolkata daily late on Thursday.
Early last year, when Australia withdrew from the U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, citing misgivings over security, the ICC’s board brought in Ireland as the replacement. That was done on the basis of Ireland finishing second in the qualification for U-19 World Cup.
A precedent, therefore, has been set for an ICC event. Meanwhile, if India does stay away and the sponsors sue the ICC for not delivering, then the world body wouldn’t sit idle. A messy scenario cannot be ruled out.
However, it has been learnt from BCCI’s interiors that if the mood within the board is to boycott the June 1-18 competition, in England, then captain Virat Kohli and head coach Anil Kumble would be “consulted” before such a drastic step is taken.
That, of course, would set a precedent and breach the traditional boundary which puts players and administrators in different halves. The Board is currently run by a four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by Vinod Rai, and the three office-bearers who have survived the Supreme Court’s wrath.
Earlier, unimpressed by a new revenue model which considerably slashes India’s share, BCCI refused to name Team India for Champions Trophy.
The BCCI will meet on Sunday to consider an additional revenue offer from the game’s world governing body but regardless of what decision they come to, a Champions Trophy pullout by the holders seems 50-50. Vinod Rai said that all was not lost for BCCI and negotiations with ICC were still on.
Rohit Reshammiya Hashmi