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India deny Champions Trophy pullout threat


MUMBAI — India have no plans to pull out of next month’s Champions Trophy over a rumbling controversy surrounding a former Indian player’s election to an International Cricket Council (ICC) panel, the Indian cricket board said on Monday.


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been accused of using its clout to get former India spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan elected to the ICC Cricket Committee.

Sivaramakrishnan beat Australian Tim May in a second vote.

The ICC has cleared the BCCI but is considering referring the matter to its ethics officer after receiving a request from the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), of which May is the chief executive.

Local media have speculated the Indian team might pull out of next month’s Champions Trophy, to be staged in England and Wales, in protest, but BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla ruled out any such possibility.

“I think there is no substance in these rumours, India will be participating in the Champions Trophy,” Shukla, also a Union minister, told reporters.
“I discard all these rumours  . . . (India) will definitely be participating in Champions Trophy in UK,” he said.

FICA officials have claimed several ICC boards pressured their captains to change their vote in Sivaramakrishnan’s favour during the re-poll.

None of the BCCI officials Reuters contacted were prepared to comment on the allegations.

The ICC issued a statement last Thursday, criticising “unsupported allegations of impropriety in the voting process”.

“. . . 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.”

A sub-committee of its chief executives committee, the ICC Cricket Committee discusses cricket playing matters and makes recommendations to the CEC.

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