India told to pick Champions Trophy squad immediately

BCCI (File)
BCCI (File)

New Delhi - India's cricket board has been instructed to immediately announce its ICC Champions Trophy squad and end a deliberate delay.

All seven other teams - England, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh - have announced their 15-man squad by the April 25 deadline, but India have not because of a revenue-sharing dispute with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The ICC tournament begins on June 1 in England.

A committee of administrators, appointed by India's Supreme Court to reform Indian cricket following the Indian Premier League corruption scandal, ordered the Indian cricket board on Thursday to pick a team.

The committee told the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) a squad could be submitted to the ICC without prejudice to its legal rights, the Press Trust of India said.

The committee said the delay in team selection was portraying Indian cricket and cricketers in a "negative" light.

"Team India should be provided with a supportive environment to showcase Indian cricket instead of being surrounded with uncertainty and confusion," the committee wrote.

"There has been more than enough negativity surrounding Team India's participation in the ICC Champions Trophy and the sooner the same is put to rest the better."

BCCI officials are expected to meet this weekend to decide on whether India will defend its Champions Trophy title.

The BCCI feels the new ICC formula hurts India's interest as it reduces its revenues from $570 million to $293 million for the period 2016-23.

Reportedly, the ICC still offers India another $100 million but it is yet to be accepted by the BCCI.

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