<
>

Dravid, Tendulkar want India to play Champions Trophy

Twelve former India players think India should play the Champions Trophy despite the BCCI-ICC stand-off ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are among a group of 12 former cricketers who want India to play the upcoming Champions Trophy in England.

All the players ESPNcricinfo contacted - Tendulkar, Dravid, Zaheer Khan, Gundappa Viswanath, Sandeep Patil, Sanjay Manjrekar, Aakash Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad, Saba Karim, Murali Kartik, and Deep Dasgupta - were unanimous in their opinion that India should attempt to defend the Champions Trophy title that they won in 2013.

The doubt over India's participation in the Champions Trophy arose after the BCCI missed the April 25 deadline to send its squad for the tournament to the ICC. The board had said the delay was due to "operational" reasons.

The concerns over India's participation have increased since then, after the BCCI was outvoted by a massive margin at the ICC Board meeting in April, when the ICC's members approved a new constitution, governance structure and finance model. The biggest sticking point for the BCCI was the finance model, in which it stands to get a reduced share of ICC revenue when compared to the existing Big Three model.

The BCCI is divided over the issue, with a faction strongly in favour of revoking the Members Participation Agreement with the ICC, which would rule India out of hosting and participating in all ICC tournaments until 2023, the end of the present rights cycle.

A final decision on India's participation in the Champions Trophy is likely to be taken by the BCCI at its special general body meeting on May 7 in Delhi.