ICC Champions Trophy withdrawal not in best interests of Indian cricket: CoA to state associations

first_imgBCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has asked full members of the board to issue a letter to Amitabh Chaudhry stating that the Indian board has approved the decision to send a notice to the IBC/ICC to cure the breach as per the terms of the Members Participation Agreement immediately. (BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary tries to create unanimity among members on Champions Trophy boycott threat)A faction in the BCCI had over teleconference contemplated pulling out of the Champions Trophy of which India are title defenders.The decision, Anirudh, said in his letter to the full members, was taken during a conference call which was organised through the BCCI office “rather than the other channel for obvious reasons.” (No Champions Trophy decision without COA’s permission: Vinod Rai to BCCI)COA head Vinod Rai on Tuesday made it clear that BCCI office-bearers are not mandated to take any decision on India’s Champions Trophy participation without the COA’s approval. Rai’s comments came amid continuing speculation on India’s Champions Trophy participation after the BCCI was outvoted on its opposition to a revamped revenue and governance model of the ICC.”Yes, we have issued an instruction that any decision regarding the ICC Revenue Model should only be taken at the Special General Meeting (SGM). But the BCCI units have been told that they cannot issue any legal notice to the ICC with regards to Champions Trophy pull-out without our prior approval,” Rai told PTI.The COA was forced to issue a diktat after it was learnt that around 10 loyalists of former BCCI president N Srinivasan engaged in a teleconference where the options of pulling out and taking legal action against the global body were discussed. (BCCI misses deadline for naming squad)advertisementIndia Today has now learnt that the CoA has written to the state associations telling them that pulling out of the Champions Trophy was not in the best interests of Indian cricket and that it will move Supreme Court if any drastic steps are taken at the BCCI SGM scheduled on May 7. (BCCI isolated at International Cricket Council: Sources to India Today)Here’s the CoA letter to the states:1.We have been informed that a Special General Meeting of the BCCI has been convened on May 7, 2017 (“SGM”) to conduct the following business:”To apprise the General Body of the BCCI on the discussions held with representatives of other Member Boards of the ICC and on the decisions taken at the ICC Meetings held on the 24th of April, 2017 and the 26th of April, 2017 and to take all necessary decisions pursuant thereto.”2.We are addressing this communication to you with the intention of putting all relevant factors and issues in their proper perspective when you discuss and take necessary decisions at the SGM. You are all aware that a certain financial model was proposed in 2014 and accepted by the other cricket boards and the same was meant to commence in 2015/2016. However, soon after the said financial model had been accepted, there were discordant voices that emanated from other cricket boards (which have been noted by the General Body of the BCCI in February 2016) and the ICC decided to set up a working group to re-visit the said financial model.3.One of the members of the Committee of Administrators (Mr. Vikram Limaye) had attended the ICC Board meeting in February 2017 on behalf of the BCCI pursuant to the order dated January 30, 2017 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The ICC Board meeting in February 2017 was within a week of the Committee of Administrators being appointed. At the said meeting, Mr. Limaye had proposed that instead of there being any voting on the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model, the same should be taken up during the meetings to be held in April 2017 since there wasn’t sufficient time for BCCI to study the proposals and formulate its position. Also, the proposals presented had stated that there was no scientific basis for the revised financial model that was being proposed. However, on the insistence of a majority of the ICC Board, a vote was taken on the approval of the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model. The same were approved ‘in-principle’ (with only Mr. Limaye and the representative from Sri Lanka Cricket voting against whilst the representative from Zimbabwe Cricket abstained), subject to the right of ICC members to raise any issues they have on the proposals in advance of the meetings to be held in April 2017.4.In order to ensure that the BCCI’s stand in relation to the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model was placed on record with the ICC sufficiently in advance of the meetings to be held in April 2017, we instructed the CEO to address a detailed communication dated March 19, 2017 to the ICC (in response to an email addressed by the ICC to Mr. Limaye) setting out our preliminary observations on the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model (See Annexure 1). We understand that this communication has already been brought to your attention during the Special General Meeting held on April 18, 2017. We would like to highlight that the said communication specifically draws the attention of the ICC to the Members Participation Agreement dated 12th October 2014 entered into between the BCCI and IBC (a subsidiary of ICC) (“MPA”) and states that the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model will, if adopted, entitle BCCI to exercise certain rights under the MPA and also to avail remedies under applicable law.advertisement5.In order to ascertain the rights and remedies that may be available to BCCI under and in relation to the MPA and otherwise in the event the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model are adopted, the Committee of Administrators had also asked the CEO to obtain necessary legal opinion(s) from appropriate foreign lawyers on the matter. We have been informed that this legal opinion has already been shared with the existing office bearers of the BCCI and we expect that they will appropriately brief you on the same.6.In the meantime, after the ICC Board Meeting held in February 2017, other cricket boards as well as the ICC were desirous of engaging in discussions and their representatives approached the Committee of Administrators for this purpose, since there were no functioning office bearers until the clarification issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on March 24, 2017. During the said discussions, we made it clear to the ICC and other cricket boards that Mr. Limaye had only been asked to attend the meetings to be held in February 2017 and he may not necessarily be asked to attend the meetings to be held in April 2017. Accordingly, the discussions between the ICC, other cricket boards and us were limited to ascertaining their respective positions and scope for negotiation. No commitment whatsoever has been made by us on behalf of the BCCI either to the ICC or to any other cricket board.7.During the course of the said discussions, the ICC and other cricket boards clearly communicated to us that the events that transpired in 2014 had led to an immense trust deficit between them and the BCCI and there was a need for trust-building in order to work together going forward. They acknowledged the fact that BCCI contributes much more to the ICC than other cricket boards and also recognized that BCCI should therefore get its due share under the revised financial model and were prepared to negotiate an amount that would be acceptable to BCCI and other cricket boards. At the same time, they made it clear that the share that was envisaged under the financial model that was put in place in 2014 was too high and not acceptable to them. They believed that a fair share could be something in between what was proposed in 2014 and the new financial model and could be negotiated between BCCI, other cricket boards and the ICC without the need for a vote. Our discussions indicated that the ICC Chairman and other cricket boards were keen to find an acceptable middle ground to resolving this matter in a collaborative/ non-confrontational framework.advertisement8.After the order dated April 17, 2017 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court appointing Mr. Amitabh Choudhary as BCCI’s representative to the ICC, we had invited the existing office bearers for a meeting on April 21, 2017 so that we could update them on the above developments prior to the ICC meetings. Whilst the Acting President and the Hon. Treasurer expressed their inability to attend the said meeting, the Acting Secretary did meet with us on April 21, 2017 and we briefed him on our prior discussions with the ICC and other cricket boards so that he would be aware of their respective views/ positions.9.We believe that the outcome of the ICC Board Meetings held in Dubai during the last week of April 2017 could have been avoided if the resolutions passed during the Special General Meeting held on April 18, 2017 had authorized the Acting Secretary to arrive at a negotiated outcome (within certain parameters akin to those set out during an earlier Special General Meeting held on February 19, 2016) instead of directing him to either seek deferment of a vote and, if that was not agreed to by the ICC and other cricket boards, vote against the revised ICC governance structure and revised financial model. In fact, we had communicated our apprehension regarding the lack of flexibility available to the Acting Secretary to negotiate when we met him on April 21, 2017.10.The decision regarding what amount/ share and changes to the ICC governance structure the BCCI should finally agree to in the course of negotiations with the ICC and other cricket boards is certainly one that needs to be taken by the General Body of the BCCI as it has long term implications. However, since we have had the benefit of independently interacting with the ICC and other cricket boards as mentioned above, we consider it our duty to communicate our views on the matter to you prior to the SGM:(a) It is extremely unlikely that the ICC and other cricket boards will agree to the amount/ share envisaged under the financial model that was put in place in 2014.(b) The ICC and other cricket boards will certainly agree to an amount/ share that is higher than what is envisaged under the revised financial model.(c) It is in the interests of Indian cricket for the BCCI to continue negotiations with the ICC and other cricket boards to arrive at an amount/ share that is somewhere between that envisaged under the financial model that was put in place in 2014 and that which is envisaged under the revised financial model. An audio recording of the Special General Meeting of the Members of BCCI held on February 19, 2016 reveals that there was a recognition that the BCCI should work in a collaborative framework with ICC and negotiate a lower amount that is acceptable to all. BCCI should continue to adopt this approach in its negotiations with ICC. Specific details of the maximum reduction in the amount/ share that the then President and Secretary of the BCCI were authorized to negotiate and agree were verbally agreed although the same does not find mention in the minutes of the said Special General Meeting.(d) It is not in the interests of Indian cricket for the BCCI to take any drastic step/ measure which may result in breakdown of negotiations between the BCCI, ICC and other cricket boards, especially since there is sufficient time between now and the ICC Conference to be held in June 2017 for a negotiated outcome to be arrived at.11.We are aware that apart from the revised ICC financial model, issues relating to the revised ICC governance structure are also important for the BCCI. This is evident from the fact that a majority of the preliminary observations contained in the detailed communication dated March 19, 2017 addressed by the CEO to the ICC under our instructions (See Annexure 1) are in relation to the revised ICC governance structure viz. scheduling of bilateral tours, membership issues, powers of the ICC Chairman, voting issues, composition of committees, etc. We believe that the way to address these issues is also through negotiation with the ICC and other cricket boards and there is sufficient time between now and the ICC Conference to be held in June 2017 for a negotiated outcome to be arrived at. However, a negotiated outcome may be jeopardized if the BCCI takes any drastic step/ measure at this stage which will only precipitate matters.12.We wish to emphasize that we are committed to protecting the interests of Indian cricket including by ensuring that the BCCI gets a fair amount/ share in any financial model that is ultimately put in place by the ICC. However, our views and those of the Members of BCCI may (or may not) differ on what is a fair amount/ share for BCCI and what the priorities are in protecting the interests of Indian cricket.13.We trust that the Members of BCCI will take a mature and well-considered decision at the SGM which protects the interests of Indian cricket as a whole. We will extend all possible cooperation and support to such a decision and will stand firmly with the Members of BCCI in that regard. However, in the extremely unlikely event that the decision of the Members of BCCI at the SGM is one which, in our view, is against the interests of Indian cricket, we would be duty bound to bring such decision to the attention of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, communicate our views to the Hon’ble Supreme Court and seek its intervention in the matter as also to take such other steps that we consider necessary to protect the interests of Indian cricket.14.We look forward to discussing the above in greater detail when we meet on May 6, 2017.last_img

Write your comment Here