Waiting Game Image Credit: THE WEEK
Waiting Game Image Credit: THE WEEK

Waiting Game

With the CoA stepping in, and with the BCCI likely to get a better revenue deal, India is unlikely to pull out of Champions Trophy

Neeru Bhatia

Will Indian captain Virat Kohli walk out for the toss with Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed on June 4? The match, in Birmingham, is a marquee event in the ICC Champions Trophy, and the tickets have already been sold out. Star Sports, the official broadcaster, has already started promoting the event. However, if a section of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, especially the one backed by former president N. Srinivasan, gets its way, the match might not happen.

Their grouse is that, in a meeting held in Dubai on April 26, the ICC board approved financial restructuring, slashing the BCCI’s projected revenue earnings from a gross of $571.5 million to $293 million.

The faction has threatened to pull out of the tournament and attempted to take legal action against the International Cricket Council. This would lead to a loss of revenue for the ICC, the England and Wales Cricket Board and Star Sports. It could even lead to the tournament being cancelled. For now, the ICC is tightlipped, waiting for the BCCI’s move.

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar —“Brutus” to BCCI officials—offered $100 million more, but didn’t agree to a deferment as requested by the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary. Choudhary, whose conduct was appreciated by ICC members, never put forward the possibility of a pullout in the ICC meeting.

Interestingly, the BCCI seems to be misleading some of its members with its numbers. $570

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