ICC-BCCI row: Officials not in favour of CT pull-out

India has not only missed the deadline of submitting the names of its 15-member squad but the uncertainty the Board officials have deliberately created around the team’s participation does not augur well.

"The BCCI would cut a sorry figure if it is isolated in world cricket,” a veteran official observed.   -  Reuters

Can the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) force the International Cricket Council (ICC) to rethink its recent decisions which can have far-reaching ramifications?

The ICC has left BCCI embarrassed with its restructuring and change in the revenue sharing model.

“Too far-fetched,” a top Board official had told Sportstar when asked whether India would pull out of the upcoming Champions Trophy, to be held in England in June, in protest against the ICC’s decisions to cut India’s share of the revenue earnings.

India has not only missed the deadline of submitting the names of its 15-member squad but the uncertainty the Board officials have deliberately created around the team’s participation does not augur well.

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“The BCCI is looking an undisciplined unit now,” said a veteran official not willing to be identified. “The BCCI tried to bully ICC but it did not work. It was never going to work because the BCCI was not willing to see reason. Look at the situation now,” the official pointed out.

Privately, most Board officials are reportedly not in favour of a Champions Trophy pull-out because it would lead to an unprecedented confrontation between the ICC and the BCCI.

“Who are the main protagonists of this game?” asked a former India captain. “The players are the key and not the officials. Have you asked the players if they would support such a stupid idea of not playing in the Champions Trophy? It won’t be a decision to be proud of,” he said.

It is learnt the Board may not go ahead with the idea for the fear of inviting sanctions from the ICC.

In the event of a pull-out, if the ICC slaps a ban on India, the decision will have a huge impact on the Indian Premier League (IPL) which may see no participation of foreign stars.

A probable ban may also hurt India because it may miss all international cricket until 2023 according to the current cycle of events.

As a former India cricketer pointed out, the BCCI would never have entertained the idea of a pull-out had there been a Players’ Association in place.

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“The PA would have protected the interests of the players since it affects their careers. Many among the current lot may not get another chance to play the Champions Trophy. Why should the players be made to pay for the follies of the officials?” he asked.

Having suffered egg on its face in Dubai, the BCCI may take time to recover, even though a final decision on India’s participation would depend on the Special General Meeting to be held soon.

“The BCCI has to behave like a leader and not a spoilt brat. This is like the boy who brought the bat during neighbourhood cricket. If he got out early, he would go home with his bat and the game would come to a stop.

“But this is different. The BCCI would cut a sorry figure if it is isolated in world cricket,” the veteran official observed.