BCCI ponders pulling out of Champions Trophy 2017
Miffed at being snubbed by the International Cricket Committee (ICC) over various recent decisions, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is mulling at the possibility of pulling out of next year's Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in England.
The BCCI has reportedly been angry with several latest developments, including ICC's proposal of a two-tier Test structure and the decision to disband the 'Big Three' reforms, which allowed India to have the biggest pie amongst all cricket playing nations - in the revenue sharing model. The latest snub came in the form of BCCI's exclusion from the ICC's finance committee meeting, which was held a few days ago at the ICC headquarters in Dubai.
Speaking to Indian Express, BCCI secretary, Ajay Shirke, termed the latest ICC move as 'humiliating'. "These are the committees where all the important decisions are taken -- finance, commerce and chief executives committee; India not having a representative (in those committees) is a humiliation for us. We will tell the ICC, 'either you amend this or we will decide what to do to protect India's cricket interests globally'. It could be anything. We may even not play the Champions Trophy. Better sense may prevail, and we may not reach that stage at all. But there are so many options," Shirke was quoted as saying.
While ICC's moves haven't found favour with the BCCI, the Indian cricket board's chief grouse is that it doesn't have any say despite being one of the biggest fund raisers for the apex organisation. "When 70 per cent of the ICC's income comes from the BCCI, why should we not have a place in the finance committee? There's no question of domination, but is the ICC trying to be a Robin Hood -- robbing the rich and giving it to the poor?" said a BCCI office-bearer.
The BCCI had recently complained about the ICC's decision to allocate $135 million as expenses for the upcoming 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and compared it with the $45 million that was allocated to the Indian board for the recently concluded 2016 Men and Women's ICC World Twenty20, thereby questioning the logic for the three-fold increase in budgetary allocations for the Champions Trophy.
While the revenue sharing model has left the BCCI bitter, it has also joined five other Test playing nations in opposing the proposed two-tier Test structure, an ICC move that reportedly found favour with 72% of the players, according to a poll conducted by the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA).
BCCI has reiterated its opposition and has said that such a system will lead to smaller countries losing out. "The BCCI is against the two-tier Test system because the smaller countries will lose out, and the BCCI wants to take care of them," Anurag Thakur, BCCI president, had been quoted as saying in reports.