In­dia to take part in Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy

New Straits Times - - Sport -

NEW DELHI: Hold­ers In­dia will take part in the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy next month, the cricket board said yes­ter­day, end­ing weeks of spec­u­la­tion over their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the event or­gan­ised by the sport’s world gov­ern­ing body.

The Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia (BCCI), which is em­broiled in a rev­enue-shar­ing row with the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC), an­nounced the de­ci­sion af­ter a spe­cial gen­eral meet­ing in New Delhi.

“The BCCI SGM unan­i­mously de­cided that the In­dian cricket team will par­tic­i­pate in the up­com­ing ICC Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy,” it said in a state­ment.

The squad for the 50-over tour­na­ment would be named to­day, it added.

The eight-na­tion Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy will be played in Eng­land and Wales from June 1. In­dia won the tro­phy dur­ing the last edi­tion in 2013.

The BCCI had skipped the April 25 dead­line for an­nounc­ing a squad and threat­ened a pullout over their dis­pute with the ICC.

This stems from the ICC’s de­ci­sion last month to amend rules so that less money and power was held by cricket’s “Big Three” — Eng­land, In­dia and Aus­tralia.

The pow­er­ful BCCI stand to lose US$277 mil­lion (RM1.2 bil­lion) in rev­enue over the next eight years un­der the sweep­ing changes ap­proved by ICC mem­bers.

The BCCI said they was keep­ing their le­gal op­tions open, in­di­cat­ing the row was far from over.

“The Board unan­i­mously au­tho­rised the act­ing hon­orary sec­re­tary of the BCCI to con­tinue ne­go­ti­a­tions with the ICC in the best in­ter­est of the BCCI while keep­ing its le­gal op­tions open,” it said in the state­ment.

The BCCI’s use of the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy as a bar­gain­ing chip with the ICC had come in for crit­i­cism. In­dian crick­et­ing greats in­clud­ing Sachin Ten­dulkar urged the side to com­pete in the pres­ti­gious event.

A panel of ad­min­is­tra­tors ap­pointed by In­dia’s top court to over­see the scan­dal-rid­den BCCI had also asked the board to take a swift de­ci­sion on the event.

Cricket’s mas­sive pop­u­lar­ity in In­dia has helped the BCCI be­come by far the wealth­i­est of all of cricket’s na­tional boards, net­ting mas­sive money from spon­sor­ship and TV deals.

Their last tele­vi­sion rights deal with the Star net­work was worth a re­ported US$750 mil­lion.

But de­spite their rude fi­nan­cial health, the board has found it­self em­broiled in scan­dals in re­cent years, in­clud­ing ac­cu­sa­tions of cor­rup­tion in the In­dian Pre­mier League in­volv­ing a team linked to their for­mer head Narayanaswami Srini­vasan. AFP

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