The BCCI insists that the delay in team announcement is not blackmail and that it can, as one of the strongest forces in international cricket, be allowed a grace period beyond the cut-off date. “Given the current situation, the ICC accepts that there will be a bit of delay from India's side.”
India will not adhere to the Tuesday deadline set by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to announce its final squad for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy to be played in England. Although a pull-out by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not on the cards, there are hectic parleys between the Indian delegation, led by acting secretary Amitabh Chowdhary, and ICC over the revenue-sharing model which has led to the delay in team announcement. The delay is bound to put some pressure on ICC and other members. A senior board official, involved in parleys in Dubai, told THE WEEK that there was absolutely no likelihood of India meeting the deadline for team announcement.
The BCCI insists that the delay in team announcement is not blackmail and that it can, as one of the strongest forces in international cricket, be allowed a grace period beyond the cut-off date. “Given the current situation, the ICC accepts that there will be a bit of delay from India's side,” said an Indian official. Has the ICC allowed the grace period? The response from BCCI is, “Do we even need ask?”
BCCI sources are insisting that Chowdhary's brief is not to threaten pull-out. Not much should be read in the delay either. “Chowdhary, as secretary, has to convene the selection committee meeting. Nobody is against the interest of the Indian team. How long does it take, in any case, to convene the selection meeting? It can be done quickly,” assured an influential cricket administrator cum a former office bearer.
“The secretary was clearly told by the general body of the BCCI that he is not authorised to take any decisions on BCCI's behalf. He only has to negotiate. He has to see whether ICC is reasonable and cooperative. If the ICC takes an unreasonable stand, then he has to come back and report to the general body,” said an influential board member and former office-bearer. “In any case, we are not considering a drastic step,” he summed up.
The committee of administrators, led by Vinod Rai, held consultations with ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar and played a key role in making him withdraw his resignation. Rai has time and again mentioned that BCCI does not want to alienate other cricket boards and take an extreme position. He and another member of committee—Vikram Limaye—had rejected Maohar's formula of revenue sharing.
Even BCCI secretary mentioned how the Indian board is not in favour of a pull-out or a hard line that would make it difficult to come back from that position. He had mentioned how care needs to be taken not to weaken India's strong position in ICC.