Falling in line with the Lodha Committee recommendations might prevent India’s participation in the ICC Champions Trophy, informed president Anurag Thakur in an informal interaction here on Monday.
The Champions Trophy will be played in England from June 1 to 18 next year and a reporter asked the BCCI president about the possibility of India facing Pakistan in the knockouts. Only recently had the Indian board made a request to the world body to place the two teams in separate groups because of the present cross-border political situation. Thakur put things in a different perspective.“I don’t know whether India will be able to play Champions Trophy or not. As per the Lodha Committee recommendations you have to give a 15-day window before and after the IPL. There’s Australia series before the IPL and Champions Trophy after it. So the BCCI has to take a call whether they will play the IPL or CT – you have to pick one of the two if the Lodha Committee recommendations are implemented in toto,” Thakur said.
The IPL has had a specific window – from early April to late May – which comes on the heels of India’s four-Test home series against Australia in February-March next year. “Members can take a call at that time, whether the IPL or Champions Trophy. The question of India-Pakistan arises only if India play the Champions Trophy,” said Thakur, adding: “It’s going to be a problem every year. You have certain months to play in India. There’s a window made available for the IPL so you have to take a call whether the world’s fastest-growing league, which has showcased to the world how you can make domestic cricket more popular and gave birth to many other leagues like football, hockey, badminton, kabaddi and all that – whether that has to go.”
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In its first set of timelines given to the BCCI, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee had set September 30 deadline for implementing a “15-day gap between National Calendar and IPL”. It didn’t mention the ICC events. Then again, future tours and bilateral series are planned as per the international windows available and respective boards pick the dates accordingly. The idea behind the 15-day gap is apparently to protect players from burnouts. But the BCCI maintains no player has ever complained.
Meanwhile, Thakur reiterated his stand on the DRS, saying the BCCI is open to it but wants the technology to be foolproof. “In the digital age of the 21st century, there’s nothing which is stopping us to use technology. We believe in that. We want to be close to perfection if the not perfect. We want to make it foolproof, that’s the idea. We have (Anil) Kumble who represents in the ICC cricket committee. And he is the coach and he can discuss with (skipper) Kohli and put the suggestions forward,” he said.