SGM to decide India’s Champions Trophy fate

The Asian Age.  | Irfan Haji

Sports, Cricket

The board is now mulling a pullout from the Champions Trophy and hasn’t announced its squad, missing the April 25 deadline.

BCCI COA chief Vinod Rai and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar at an event in Mumbai. (Photo: Shripad Naik)

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India suffered an embarrassment by being out-voted on both the revenue model and governance structure issues at the ICC meet in Dubai recently. The board is now mulling a pullout from the Champions Trophy and hasn’t announced its squad, missing the April 25 deadline.

However, head of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators head Vinod Rai said that all was not lost for the BCCI and negotiations with the ICC were still on. He also indicated that India could still participate in the Champions Trophy.

“It is part of the game, let it unfold slowly let’s see how it progresses. Nothing is lost. It is not a closed chapter,” he said on the sidelines of the launch of Hero: A Biography of Sachin Tendulkar, written by former manager of media relations and corporate affairs for BCCI, Devendra Prabhudesai, also attended by the Master Blaster.

“Elected BCCI members were in Dubai for negotiations and ICC haven’t listened to them. We will discuss it again and decision will be in interest of everybody.

“We held discussions before also but some things didn’t work out, there are always other avenues open. We will not spill water on fans aspirations.”

Prabhudesai already has written a biography of Rahul Dravid, The Nice Guy Who Finished First and authored a book on Sunil Gavaskar.

Added Rai, “We are ready with all possible scenarios. So let the process happen which is supposed to take place and then we will see what to do.

“We requested the acting (BCCI) president and secretary to convene a special general meeting on May 7. It has been convened. Let it roll out and let elected members take a decision first. We are all hundred percent on the same page. I am confident that it will be a good decision but by chance if it doesn’t happen, then we will see,” added the former comptroller and auditor general.

When reminded the deadline for announcing the Champions Trophy squad was already over, Rai said there was still lot of time till the tournament began on June 1.

“There is no such thing as a deadline. The Champions Trophy will start on June 1. The deadlines are fixed so that there is some kind of system in place. Players are playing IPL till May 21. Let the BCCI members return from Dubai and we will chalk out the road map,” he said.

Rai denied the reports that India team members hadn’t been paid match fees as well as a `1 crore incentive, promised by the BCCI after a successful home season.

“In my records payments have been made. May be something is held up somewhere. State associations have also been paid. If there is somebody who is left, we will rectify it soon,” Rai added.

Legends urged to speak up
Rai also urged former legends like Tendulkar to speak up for the India players to ensure they got what they deserved.

“I think Indian cricket is once again at its peak. We have a remarkable young team. They are aggressive and dedicated; their commitment on field is absolutely wonderful.

“What we need to ask ourselves is are we providing them with the best support in terms of logistics, administration and whatever? All that you must have been reading about it in the newspapers, it is unfortunate and I don’t think we’re doing good service to the excellent team that we have,” Rai said.