India might not participate in ICC Champions Trophy

N Srinivasan (above) refused to comment on India’s possible boycott of the ICC Champions Trophy if the Laxman Sivaramakrishnan matter is referred to Ethics Officer of the International Cricket Council © AFP

Mumbai: May 13, 2013

Upset with the dispute surrounding the appointment of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan in the ICC Cricket Committee, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reported to have hardened its stand on the issue, and one option being pulling out of the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2013.

The Federation of Cricketers Association’s (FICA) demand to refer this matter to the Ethics Officer of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has upset the BCCI and the board may take a harsh decision, reported Mumbai Mirror.

What actually the BCCI will do has not been spelt out but it is learnt that the Indian Board has dropped hints that it might review its participation in the Champions Trophy 2013, an ICC event scheduled to be held in England from June 6 to 23.

Sources indicate that the BCCI is unhappy with the noise being made over Sivaramakrishnan’s election to the ICC’s Cricket Committee ahead of Tim May, the chief executive officer of FICA. There is a feeling that the whole issue could have been handled better by the ICC top brass, particularly by its president Alan Isaac and CEO Dave Richardson.

The ICC, in a statement on Thursday, stated that it might consider ordering a probe into the issue but the BCCI apparently will not be too happy if the whole affair were to be referred to the Ethics Officer. In that context it is indicated that it might pull out of the Champions Trophy.

“One of the options they (BCCI) voiced was the prospect of considering their participation in the Champions Trophy if the issue was referred to Ethics Officer,” said a source without willing to be named.

It was unclear how serious the threat is but it must be emphasised that it is not often a BCCI objection is overruled in the ICC power circles. In view of the BCCI objection the matter could be referred to ICC’s governance committee chairman Wally Edward, also the chief of Cricket Australia, but a final word on the whole deal has not been put out.

An ICC spokesman said he had no knowledge of the apparent risk from the BCCI, whose president N Srinivasan refused to comment on the matter.

The drama so far

Sivaramakrishnan was elected to ICC Cricket Committee ahead of FICA chief executive Tim May for a three-year term. FICA cried foul and alleged the vote by the captains of the Test playing nations was influenced by the boards and the BCCI. The demands are probed by ICC Ethics Officer. ICC rubbished the reports of irregularities in the voting process and insisted the revote decision was in accordance with the determined procedure. ICC also said it might consider the demand for an inquiry. The matter may be referred to ICC governance committee chief instead of the Ethics Officer.BCCI not happy with developments, drops hints of pulling out of CT.