BCCI says no hegemony, will play in Champions Trophy
The Indian cricket board Monday refuted charges of flexing its muscles in the International Cricket Council (ICC) to get Laxman Sivaramakrishnan elected in the cricket committee and ruled out pulling out of next month's Champions Trophy in England.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) spokesperson Rajeev Shukla, who is also chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL), refuted rumours of India pulling out of the Champions Trophy being held June 6-23.
"We are not going to pull out of Champions Trophy. India will be participating in the Champions Trophy and BCCI is always there to support cricket," said Shukla.
When asked whether BCCI used its clout to include Sivaramakrishnan, a former India spinner, as a players' representative in the ICC cricket committee, Shukla said the "board doesn't believe in hegemony".
"BCCI never believes in hegemony and we have never done it. Most of the cricket boards have the best of relationship with the BCCI and we are always in consultation with other boards," said Shukla.
Sivaramakrishnan, a cricketer-turned-commentator, had defeated Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) chief executive Tim May in voting held May 6 after some intense lobbying by both sides.
It is alleged that BCCI asked for a re-vote to get Sivaramakrishnan on the committee after May had won the initial round of voting 9-1. Sivaramakrishnan is employed with India Cements, a company headed by BCCI president N. Srinivasan.
Captains of 10 Test playing nations took part in the voting. Sivaramakrishnan joins Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, who is the other players' representative on the board.
An angry FICA shot a letter to ICC asking its ethics committee to inquire into the voting process and whether the captains were forced by their respective boards to vote against incumbent May.
The ICC, however, maintained that the re-vote took place again according to the determined procedure and there was no evidence that captains were under pressure to vote for a certain candidate by their respective boards.
"The ICC can confirm that it has received a written request from the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) to refer the matter to the Ethics Officer. This request is being considered, but in view of the allegations already appearing in the media, the ICC wishes to state for the record that the re-vote took place according to the determined procedure and that the ICC has seen no evidence that supports allegations now being made that captains were put under pressure by their Member Boards to vote for a particular individual," the ICC had said in a statement.