India Will Play Champions Trophy, Announce Squad Immediately: Committee of Administrators Tell BCCI
The CoA on Tuesday clarified to the Indian board that its officials were not mandated to take any decision on India's participation in the ICC Champions Trophy, beginning on June 1.
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Thursday directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to convene a selection committee meet and announce the Indian squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 "immediately". The CoA asked BCCI's Amitabh Choudhary why the team has not yet been selected despite April 25 being the deadline. The COA also questioned the manner in which BCCI negotiated the entire revenue model deal with the International Cricket Council (ICC) at a meet held in Dubai recently. The CoA's directive makes it amply clear that the Indian cricket team will not pull out of the high-profile tournament.
"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," the CoA wrote in a letter to Choudhary.
The COA told that the office-bearers should keep in mind while mulling a pull-out that "India are the best team in the world today".
"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 letter states.
The COA reminded the office-bearers and state unit officials that the "players' interest should be paramount".
"The focus should be on enabling our team to achieve even greater heights and further laurels, which will automatically attract higher revenues," the letter further stated. The COA pointed out that the officials running the cricket in the country have lost sight of the fact that India's position in global cricket has been achieved by consensus and not by confrontational approach.
"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."
In the letter, the COA also questioned need to send a legal notice to ICC when the matter is yet to be placed before the general body.
"In the above circumstances, there is no reason why any notice should be issued to the ICC before the members of BCCI have had the opportunity to discuss the matter and take a well-considered decision as mentioned in our email dated 3rd May 2017.
"We do not believe that BCCI's legal rights will be prejudiced in any manner if a notice is not issued to the ICC prior to the SGM. A decision of such magnitude needs to be taken after following due process and the correct forum for that is the SGM. The Committee of Administrators will consider the matter of issuing a notice to the ICC only after the SGM takes a decision."
"We believe that the BCCI has not yet given the possibility of a negotiated outcome a fair chance. As communicated to you during our meeting on 21st April 2017, the resolutions passed during the Special General Meeting on 18th April 2017 did not give you any flexibility to negotiate with the ICC and other cricket boards," it states.
"The General Body of the BCCI has itself recognized the need to adopt a collaborative/ non-confrontational approach with the ICC and other cricket boards during the Special General Meeting held on 19th February 2016," the COA reminded.
(With inputs from PTI)