CoA tells BCCI to select Champions Trophy squad 'immediately'
Calling for the "uncertainty" over India's participation in the 2017 Champions Trophy to end, the committee of administrators (CoA) has directed the BCCI to select the squad immediately.
India were the only country to miss the April 25 deadline, by when all eight participating countries had to submit their Champions Trophy squads to the ICC. The BCCI had said the delay was because of "operational" reasons, but events since then have led to doubts over India's participation in the tournament.
"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 CoA told BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, in an email sent on Thursday.
"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 BCCI has called for a special general meeting (SGM) on May 7 to discuss the outcomes of the ICC Board meetings last week, when a new constitution, governance changes and financial model - in which the BCCI's share of revenue was greatly reduced - was passed by an overwhelming majority.
A segment of the BCCI, unhappy with the cut in its revenue from the ICC, wants to revoke the Members Participation Agreement (MPA), which would mean India missing every ICC tournament in the current rights cycle starting form the 2017 Champions Trophy to the 2023 World Cup.
Three days before the SGM, the CoA told the BCCI it needed to provide the best environment for the Indian team to defend the title.
"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," the CoA told Choudhary. "Team India should be provided with a supportive environment to showcase Indian cricket instead of being surrounded with uncertainty and confusion. 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."
The CoA also warned the BCCI that any "drastic steps" taken at the SGM could lead to the Supreme Court getting involved in the matter.
Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo