Mourning empire lost amid Champions Trophy boycott whispers

Change in stance of boards such as West Indies and Bangladesh indicates BCCI’s influence over ICC has diminished due to internal turmoil.   

Published: 06th February 2017 03:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2017 04:24 AM   |  A+A-

ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar | PTI

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A day after their supremacy in ICC was questioned amid indications that other members are ready to oppose their stand, members of the BCCI were blaming internal turmoil for the turn of events. Not for the first time, some were even exploring ways of pulling out of Champions Trophy in protest.

With only Sri Lanka other than India voting against the proposed revenue model that cuts BCCI’s share by six per cent (Zimbabwe abstained from voting), the board after decades saw its view on an important matter in ICC superseded. Vikram Limaye, member of the SC-appointed panel to run BCCI, opposing the proposal was only a small consolation.

That Pakistan, Bangladesh and West Indies supported Shashank Manohar’s model instead of what the Indian, English and Australian boards had introduced in 2014 hurts the BCCI more. The three were a constant by the BCCI’s side.

“We lost Pakistan because of (deposed BCCI president) Anurag Thakur’s public posturing against them with respect to bilateral cricket. At least two more (Bangladesh and West Indies) were with us, who we couldn’t persuade further because of the uncertainty over who was attending the meeting,” sources told Express.

It was decided hours before in Dubai that Limaye would attend the ICC board meeting and joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhary the meeting of executives. Sources rued that other than lack of time for homework, there was nobody to “look Manohar in the eye” and “question the basis of the proposed sharing structure” on the floor of the meeting.

Former BCCI officials with the experience of voting in ICC meetings felt the Supreme Court reform order and confusion over representation harmed the board’s image. “Other boards see BCCI as a weakened body. They know there’s a problem in taking decisions. Those who didn’t like our methods but used to keep quiet, sense a chance now to have their way,” felt a veteran.

The “loss of face” in the Dubai meeting has sparked thoughts of skipping Champions Trophy in England in June. Although head of administrators Vinod Rai has spoken against the possibility, BCCI members said it depends on what the general body decides.

“The job of administrators is to run day to day activities. They can’t decide on policy matters. For that, it’s still the general body and if the BCCI’s interest is to be protected, members can consider pulling out of Champions Trophy. The ICC and those who didn’t support us should know the importance of India,” said a member following developments. But it can be noted that no general body meeting is scheduled, nor is one likely in the immediate future.

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