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India will take part in Champions Trophy, confirms BCCI

NEW DELHI: India will take part in the Champions Trophy next month, the cricket board said Sunday, ending weeks of speculation over their participation in the event organised by the sport’s world governing body.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which is embroiled in a revenue-sharing row with the International Cricket Council (ICC), announced the decision after a special general meeting in New Delhi.

“The BCCI SGM unanimously decided that the Indian cricket team will participate in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy,” it said in a statement.

The squad for the 50-over tournament would be named on Monday, it added.

The eight-nation Champions Trophy will be played in England and Wales from June 1. India won the trophy during the last edition in 2013.

The BCCI had skipped the April 25 deadline for announcing a squad and threatened a pullout over its dispute with the ICC.

This stems from the ICC’s decision last month to amend rules so that less money and power was held by cricket’s “Big Three” — England, India and Australia.

The powerful BCCI stands to lose $277 million in revenue over the next eight years under the sweeping changes approved by ICC members.

The BCCI said it was keeping its legal options open, indicating the row was far from over.

“The Board unanimously authorised the acting honorary secretary of the BCCI to continue negotiations with the ICC in the best interest of the BCCI while keeping its legal options open,” it said in the statement.

The BCCI’s use of the Champions Trophy as a bargaining chip with the ICC had come in for criticism. Indian cricketing greats including Sachin Tendulkar urged the side to compete in the prestigious event.

A panel of administrators appointed by India’s top court to oversee the scandal-ridden BCCI had also asked the board to take a swift decision on the event.

Cricket’s massive popularity in India has helped the BCCI become by far the wealthiest of all of cricket’s national boards, netting massive money from sponsorship and TV deals.

Its last television rights deal with the Star network was worth a reported $750 million.

But despite its rude financial health, the board has found itself embroiled in scandals in recent years, including accusations of corruption in the Indian Premier League involving a team linked to its former head Narayanaswami Srinivasan. — Agencies

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