Just a day after the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid voiced their opinion in favour of India playing in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, head coach Anil Kumble too has reportedly told the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that Virat Kohli’s men are keen to defend their title.
Speculations are rife over India’s participation in the tournament after the BCCI was outvoted in last month’s ICC board meeting allowing the governing body to abolish the ‘Big Three’ model in favour of implementing a new finance model which grants BCCI a share of US $293 million instead of the US $570 million dollars that it used to earn previously.
Miffed with the whole development, the BCCI, which had already missed the April 25th deadline to announce the squad, has not taken a decision yet on whether to send the team to England for the tournament which begins on June 1, giving rise to speculations that they are mulling on boycotting the trophy as an act of defiance.
However, Kumble has reportedly told the BCCI not to jeopardise India’s participation in the tournament due to the ongoing tussle with the ICC.
According to a report in The Mumbai Mirror, the former India leg-spinner had conveyed to cricket board that the team is looking forward to defending its title reign in England.
“Important players have expressed their desire to play the Champions Trophy and that coach Kumble had taken the lead in this matter,” a source was quoted as saying by the news outlet.
Earlier, several former Indian cricketers had voiced their support for team India to participate in the Champions Trophy. As per an ESPNCricinfo report, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Zaheer Khan, Gundappa Viswanath, Sandeep Patil, Sanjay Manjrekar, Aakash Chopra, Ajit Agarkar, Venkatesh Prasad, Saba Karim, Murali Kartik, and Deep Dasgupta had said they were in favour of India playing in the showpiece event.
Recent media reports are also suggesting that the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has directed the BCCI to announce the squad immediately.