Putting to rest the speculation about the India’s withdrawal from the Champions Trophy, Vinod Rai, the new boss of Indian cricket, said India will go ahead and participate in the June tournament. However, he has conceded that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will request the International Cricket Council (ICC) to defer a decision on the contentious new revenue-sharing formula.
“I can’t comment about the rumours. Why should the BCCI pull out of the Champions Trophy? Why? Doesn’t the Indian public want us to participate in the tournament? Everybody says we can withdraw from the Champions Trophy. Suppose withdraw, is it feasible? Will not there be a huge backlash? Gone are the days when we could threaten and get away,” Rai, the head of the four-member Supreme Court-appointed administrator, told Mirror yesterday.
Rai is well aware that the Champions Trophy participation is linked to the voting in the ICC about a new revenue-sharing formula in which the BCCI could end up losing a chunk of the ICC share. His committee has now requested the ICC to defer voting on the matter.
“We have requested the ICC to give us three-four months’ time. We are asking them not to vote tomorrow but at the annual conference in June. I am led to believe that the ICC board will consider our request,” the former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India revealed. “I agree that India is the largest revenue-spinner in the ICC but India can’t be isolated. I understand there will be short term loss but we will gain more revenue eventually.”
Rai also did not miss out pointing out that the BCCI itself agreed to the revision in the revenue model. “The formula was devised in 2014 and in 2016, they wanted to revise. The records show that a Special General Meeting (SGM) of the BCCI unanimously approved the revised formula. That is the truth. In that SGM, both Mr Thakur (Anurag) and Mr Pawar (Sharad) were there,” Rai pointed out clarifying that his colleague Vikram Limya will sit in the board meeting, ahead of the two office-bearers – Amitabh Chaudhry and Anirudh Chaudhary.
The BCCI in-charge has also made it clear that he has no problems coexisting with the office-bearers as much as with the ICC. “We have not gone too far. We have been here only for three days. We are taking up the priority issues one by one. We are clear in our mind that there is a role for the office-bearers and role of the senior management and there is a role for the administrators also. All of us will co-exist, with the office-bearers as well as the ICC. We are also clear in one thing and that is the reforms must be adopted in to-to.”
Talking about the time the COA can exist, Rai said he wants to ensure the implementation as soon as possible. “The Supreme Court has not given us any deadline. Left to myself I will finish in four months. But it all depends on when the states adopt the reforms. How quickly we can persuade them is the point. As far as I am concerned, these reforms are final. We can’t make any changes. How best we can persuade them to adopt is important but the immediate priority is the IPL. We have cleared all that is required,” he said.
Finally, Rai reiterated the point that he is only the night watchman. “I have not even gone to the BCCI office yet. When I said I am only a night watchman, what I meant was this is a democratic body. We’re here to ensure everything is conducted in an ethical fashion, the elections, accounting, etc. Earliest we can put things in place and leave it back to democracy, we’ll do it,” he remarked.
Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror