Champions Trophy 2017: Vinod Rai-headed COA asks BCCI to 'immediately announce' Indian squad

New Delhi: Irked by the delaying tactics of the BCCI, the Committee of Administrators (COA) on Thursday instructed the cricket board to "immediately announce the Champions Trophy squad".

The Vinod Rai-headed COA has come down hard on the BCCI for dragging its feet over selection of CT 2917 squad. Getty Images

The Vinod Rai-headed COA has come down hard on BCCI for dragging its feet over selection of CT 2917 squad. Getty Images

Having already sent a couple of communications earlier, the seven-point letter on Thursday to BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary is by far the most strongly-worded.

The richest cricket body has deliberately missed the 25 April deadline for submission of the squad in the wake of ICC proposing a new financial model which reduces BCCI's revenues from $570 million to $293 million.

The COA has copied the e-mail to all office-bearers about how the delay in team selection is portraying Indian cricket and cricketers in "negative" light.

Point No 5 of the COA diktat states: "You are aware that the squad representing India at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was to be submitted by 25th April 2017 but the squad has not even been selected as yet. Please convene a meeting of the selection committee for selecting the squad immediately. The squad can then be submitted to the ICC without prejudice to BCCI's legal rights."

The COA told that the office-bearers should keep in mind while mulling a pull-out that "India are the best team in the world today".

"Team India should be provided with a supportive environment to showcase Indian cricket instead of being surrounded with uncertainty and confusion. There has been more than enough negativity surrounding Team India's participation in the ICC Champions Trophy and the sooner the same is put to rest the better," the letter states.

The COA reminded the office-bearers and state unit officials that the "players' interest should be paramount".

"The focus should be on enabling our team to achieve even greater heights and further laurels, which will automatically attract higher revenues," the letter further stated.

The COA pointed out that the officials running the cricket in the country have lost sight of the fact that India's position in global cricket has been achieved by consensus and not by confrontational approach.

"The BCCI appears to have lost sight of the fact that it attained a pre-eminent position in the ICC not by a combative approach but by building consensus and ensuring a positive image including by helping other cricket boards in their time of need."

In the letter, the COA also questioned the need to send a legal notice to ICC when the matter is yet to be placed before the general body.

"In the above circumstances, there is no reason why any notice should be issued to the ICC before the members of BCCI have had the opportunity to discuss the matter and take a well-considered decision as mentioned in our email dated 3rd May 2017.

"We do not believe that BCCI's legal rights will be prejudiced in any manner if a notice is not issued to the ICC prior to the SGM. A decision of such magnitude needs to be taken after following due process and the correct forum for that is the SGM. The Committee of Administrators will consider the matter of issuing a notice to the ICC only after the SGM takes a decision."

The COA also questioned the manner in which BCCI negotiated the whole deal.

"We believe that the BCCI has not yet given the possibility of a negotiated outcome a fair chance. As communicated to you during our meeting on 21st April 2017, the resolutions passed during the Special General Meeting on 18th April 2017 did not give you any flexibility to negotiate with the ICC and other cricket boards," it states.

"The general body of the BCCI has itself recognised the need to adopt a collaborative/ non-confrontational approach with the ICC and other cricket boards during the special general meeting held on 19th February 2016," the COA reminded.

Here's the full text of the COA's letter to BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary:

Dear Mr Choudhary,

1. You have already called for a Special General Meeting on 7th May 2017 (“SGM”) to conduct the following business:

“To apprise the General Body of the BCCI on the discussions held with representatives of other Member Boards of the ICC and on the decisions taken at the ICC Meetings held on the 24th of April, 2017 and the 26th of April, 2017 and to take all necessary decisions pursuant thereto.”

2. In the above circumstances, there is no reason why any notice should be issued to the ICC before the members of BCCI have had the opportunity to discuss the matter and take a well-considered decision as mentioned in our email dated 3rd May 2017.

We do not believe that BCCI’s legal rights will be prejudiced in any manner if a notice is not issued to the ICC prior to the SGM. A decision of such magnitude needs to be taken after following due process and the correct forum for that is the SGM. The Committee of Administrators will consider the matter of issuing a notice to the ICC only after the SGM takes a decision.

3. As mentioned in our email dated 3rd May 2017, the Committee of Administrators will extend all possible cooperation and support to any decision taken at the SGM which protects the interests of Indian cricket as a whole but will be duty bound to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court and take other necessary steps in the event the decision(s) taken at the SGM is/ are, in our view, against the interests of Indian cricket.

4. We believe that the BCCI has not yet given the possibility of a negotiated outcome a fair chance. As communicated to you during our meeting on 21st April 2017, the resolutions passed during the Special General Meeting on 18th April 2017 did not give you any flexibility to negotiate with the ICC and other cricket boards.

We also believe that it is in the interests of Indian cricket that the possibility of a negotiated outcome be fully and constructively pursued before the BCCI takes any irreversible step/ measure. Our discussions with the ICC and other cricket boards have revealed a trust deficit that the BCCI needs to do its part to address.

At the same time, the ICC and other cricket boards have, during the said discussions, also expressed willingness to find common ground with the BCCI. The General Body of the BCCI has itself recognised the need to adopt a collaborative/ non-confrontational approach with the ICC and other cricket boards during the Special General Meeting held on 19th February 2016.

5. In the meantime, it would be appropriate to make all necessary preparations for ensuring that Team India can successfully defend its title in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which commences on 1st June 2017. You are aware that the squad representing India at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was to be submitted by 25th April 2017 but the squad has not even been selected as yet. Please convene a meeting of the selection committee for selecting the squad immediately. The squad can then be submitted to the ICC without prejudice to BCCI’s legal rights.

6. We believe that any decision taken at the SGM should be predicated on the fact that India has the best team in the world today. Team India should be provided with a supportive environment to showcase Indian cricket instead of being surrounded with uncertainty and confusion. There has been more than enough negativity surrounding Team India’s participation in the ICC Champions Trophy and the sooner the same is put to rest the better.

The players’ interests are paramount and they must be given the best chance to prepare for, defend and retain the ICC Champions Trophy. The focus should be on enabling our team to achieve even greater heights and further laurels, which will automatically attract higher revenues. The BCCI appears to have lost sight of the fact that it attained a pre-eminent position in the ICC not by a combative approach but by building consensus and ensuring a positive image including by helping other cricket boards in their time of need.

7. As your email mentions that a majority of the Members of BCCI have urged you to send a notice to the ICC, we are also copying the Members on this email to communicate our views to them.

Yours faithfully

The Supreme Court Appointed Committee of Administrators.


Published Date: May 04, 2017 04:31 pm | Updated Date: May 04, 2017 04:34 pm

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