IN A climbdown from its earlier stand, the BCCI on Sunday suspended hostilities with the International Cricket Council (ICC) over revenue sharing and cleared India’s participation in the Champions Trophy next month.
The squad for the eight-team tournament in England will be picked on Monday.
The decision came a day after the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) met BCCI members and asked them to be “prudent” while taking decisions at the general body meeting.
“The BCCI SGM unanimously decided that the Indian cricket team will participate in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy. The All-India Senior Selection Meeting will be held tomorrow, May 8, in New Delhi to pick the team,” said a statement released by BCCI after the Special General Meeting in Delhi on Sunday.
While the statement described it as a “unanimous” decision, former ICC and BCCI chief N Srinivasan, who attended the meeting through video conference, is learnt to have favoured a more hawkish line against the ICC.
Srinivasan wanted the BCCI to send a notice to ICC, threatening to revoke the 2014 Members Participation Agreement (MPA) and pull out of all ICC events during the ongoing rights cycle (2015-2023) if India’s revenue share is reduced. However, he was outnumbered and eventually decided to go with “the sentiment of the house”.
“Mr Srinivasan said that we should send the notice. But then, Shuklaji (Rajeev Shukla) spoke, I spoke and we said that we want to protect national interests. But at the same time, we should talk to them (ICC) and see what best can be achieved for India, not only from the new financial model but the new governance model as well, which is equally important,” Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president Abhay Apte told The Indian Express.
“We said we have many other tournaments till 2023 and rather than taking a drastic step at the moment, we should talk to them. It (this opinion) gathered momentum… I think in the end, even Mr Srinivasan said, ‘I will go with the sentiment of the house’,” said Apte.
Speaking to The Indian Express, CoA chairman Vinod Rai said: “The (BCCI) members needed a briefing. They hadn’t been briefed properly. I told them for (a revenue loss of) $100 million over eight years, which can be made up with just three additional bilateral games per year, is it desirable to stop cricket, disrespecting public sentiment.”
The BCCI’s revenue share has been reduced from $570 million to $293 million, plus an additional $100 million settlement offer, as per the ICC’s new financial model and India’s 13-1 loss at the ICC Board voting. The ICC is seeking to change the controversial “Big 3” model of governance and revenue sharing in global cricket.
Earlier, the BCCI wanted to send a notice to the global body, threatening to revoke the 2014 MPA. Over 20 BCCI members had consented to sending the notice.
The CoA and BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, meanwhile, will continue negotiating with the ICC and other member boards to “find a middle ground” in terms of India’s revenue share.
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