The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Thursday ordered the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to convene a selection committee meet and immediately select the Indian cricket squad for the Champions Trophy, beginning July 1 in England and Wales.
The CoA, in a strongly worded statement, quizzed BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary as to why the team for the upcoming 50-over tournament has not yet been selected despite the deadline of April 25.
Earlier, there had been speculations that the Indian cricket board might pull out of the Champions Trophy in an act of defiance against the International Cricket Council's (ICC) revised financial model.
"In the meantime, it would be appropriate to make all necessary preparations for ensuring that Team India can successfully defend its title in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which commences on 1st June 2017. You are aware that the squad representing India at the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 was to be submitted by 25th April 2017 but the squad has not even been selected as yet. Please convene a meeting of the selection committee for selecting the squad immediately. The squad can then be submitted to the ICC without prejudice to BCCI's legal rights," the CoA said in a letter to Chaudhary.
The CoA further asked the BCCI office bearers to keep in mind that India are currently the best team in the world, while taking any decision regarding withdrawal from the Champions Trophy.
The apex-court appointed four-member committee further reminded the BCCI and state unit officials that the players' interest should be paramount before making any decision regarding the same.
"Team India should be provided with a supportive environment to showcase Indian cricket instead of being surrounded with uncertainty and confusion. There has been more than enough negativity surrounding Team India's participation in the ICC Champions Trophy and the sooner the same is put to rest the better. The players' interests are paramount and they must be given the best chance to prepare for, defend and retain the ICC Champions Trophy," the CoA said.
"The focus should be on enabling our team to achieve even greater heights and further laurels, which will automatically attract higher revenues. The BCCI appears to have lost sight of the fact that it attained a pre-eminent position in the ICC not by a combative approach but by building consensus and ensuring a positive image including by helping other cricket boards in their time of need," the letter added.
The BCCI will also convene a Special General Meeting (SGM) on May 7 to discuss the ICC's new financial revenue model.
Last week, the ICC abolished the 'Big Three system' and approved a new financial model after its meet in Dubai, under which the BCCI will receive 293 million dollars from 2016 to 2023. Previously, the board was drawing an amount of 570 million dollars due to its ' Big Three' formula.
This might not have gone down well with the Indian board as the new model eats into its share.
ICC independent chairman Shashank Manohar had initially offered a compromise formula of an additional 100 million dollars, which would push the BCCI's share to almost 400 million dollars.
However, BCCI rejected this with a counter-offer under which it would still get its 570 million dollars but no other full member's share would be reduced.
With the new revenue model getting the nod, BCCI will now have to do with what they have in the eight-year cycle. The England Cricket Board received 143 million dollars while Zimbabwe Cricket received 94 million dollars.
The remaining seven Full Members will receive 132 million dollars each. The Associate Members will receive a funding of 280 million dollars. This model was passed by a vote of 13 to 1.