A day after India legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid expressed their opinion that India should participate in the 2017 Champions Trophy, national team coach Anil Kumble too has reportedly told the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that the wrangling over finances with the International Cricket Council (ICC) should not hamper the team’s participation at the tournament.
According to a report in The Mumbai Mirror, Kumble had conveyed to BCCI’s office bearers that the Virat Kohli-led team was keen on defending its Champions Trophy title. The tournament begins on 1 June in England and India are defending champions having won it in 2013.
The BCCI is expected to take a final decision on India’s participation at the tournament at its special general body meeting on Sunday in New Delhi.
The Mirror report quoted BCCI sources as saying that “important players had expressed their desire to play in the Champions Trophy, and that coach Kumble had taken the lead in this matter.”
Apart from Tendulkar and Dravid, Zaheer Khan, Gundappa Viswanath, Sandeep Patil, Sanjay Manjrekar, Aakash Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad, Saba Karim, Murali Kartik, and Deep Dasgupta had told ESPNcricinfo that they were in favour of India participating at the eight-team tournament.
The pressure on BCCI to send a team was exacerbated by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) when it asked the board to immediately announce the Champions Trophy squad.
India’s participation has been under a cloud ever since BCCI missed a 25 April deadline to name its squad for the tournament, which the board claimed was owing to "operational reasons." After that, the BCCI lost a crucial vote at the ICC board meeting, where members approved a new constitution, governance structure and finance model, which the Indian board has branded unfair.