India gets the all-clear for Champions Trophy
In what came as a surprise to many, after a lengthy delay in announcing the India team for the Champions Trophy 2017, it was decided on Sunday (May 7) that the team would indeed participate in the event after the BCCI's Special General Meeting (SGM) in Delhi. The decision was termed as a 'unanimous one' and the squad for the same will be picked on May 8.
The BCCI's apparent U-turn in confronting the ICC over the proposed changes in governance models and financial models came about after the member associations met with the Committee of Administrators on Saturday, a day before the SGM.
It is understood that the CoA advised the member units on the approach to be taken forward whilst negotiating with the ICC. As a result, the decision to participate in the Champions Trophy was taken.
BCCI still not backing out
While a bone of contention for the BCCI leading up to the SGM was the possibility of sending a legal notice to the ICC regarding the Members Participation Agreement (MPA), even that was decided against after the SGM. Instead, the Acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, was given full authorisation to re-negotiate with ICC.
Choudhary, however, made it clear that this move cannot be seen as a step taken back by BCCI.
"We have not conceded anything at all that. Let that be absolutely, unequivocally clear. That the BCCI concedes nothing. And in any case, there is adequate legal room for further action," he said.
Cricbuzz understands that the decision taken in favour of participation in the Champions Trophy was also because of the media clamour surrounding the ICC event.
Members within BCCI remain unhappy with the ICC reforms, particularly the governance structure.
"A few bilateral series are enough to make the money we lose, but the bigger issue is the governance structure," said a member who attended the SGM.
The thought was echoed by Choudhary as well. "Our concerns are very clear. While cricket must spread as a world sport, we must also make sure that our position as the predominant cricket country in the world remains undiminished," said Choudhary.
BCCI's governance structure concerns, also shared by the CoA, primarily stems from the fact that the BCCI stands to lose a big footing in voting patterns. From one vote in ten to one vote in seventeen is seen as a huge setback by the BCCI.
In addition to this, members of the BCCI are unhappy that the ICC will get to choose which member unit from BCCI gets to attend the ICC conferences according to the revised reforms.
With the Champions Trophy out of the way, there is still a possibility of BCCI using the pull out strategy when it comes to the lesser-hyped but financially important bilateral series.
Choudhary also mentioned that the re-negotiation terms with the ICC can happen before and even during the Annual General Meeting which is supposed to happen in June this year.
N Srinivasan, Niranjan Shah in attendance
Despite being ineligible to participate in functions of the BCCI according to the Lodha recommendations, the SGM saw N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah taking partaking in the meet. The former joined the SGM through a video conference while the latter was present in person. Both are over the age-cap of 70 prescribed by the Lodha reforms.
However, the CoA had filed a status report regarding this with the Supreme Court and a judgement on whether they are ineligible or not is yet to be pronounced, which allowed the duo to take part in the SGM.
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