The prospect of India pulling out of this year's Champions Trophy loomed large on Wednesday after the Indian cricket board (BCCI) was left isolated in its opposition to proposed reforms to the way the game is run globally.
The BCCI was routed 1-9 in a vote of all member boards of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on a revamped financial model and 2-8 on a new governance structure. The ICC votes decisively rejected the Big Three structure that gave India special status and would leave it as just another member board of the game's parent body.
In the financial model that was passed, BCCI's share of ICC revenue from 2015 to 2023 would be only $290 million, barely half of the $570 million the Indian board wanted.
The old guard feels that the only option left for India is to invoke the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) and pull out of the international cricket bilateral cycle, or to fall in line with the new world order. However, this may not find favour with the SC-appointed panel of administrators.
ICC independent chairman Shashank Manohar the man - pushing for cricket administration reforms - had initially offered a compromise formula of an additional $100 million, which would push the BCCI's share to almost $400 million. BCCI rejected this with a counter-offer under which it would still get its $570 million but no other full member's share would be reduced.
However, Manohar called for a vote on the $290m offer, not on the compromise formula that was being spoken about, and the result left the BCCI cutting a lonely figure.
The state units which form the old guard at the BCCI have now decided to call for a special general meeting at the earliest - a 14-day notice has to be given - to take a call on what should be India's next move. The Indian board hasn't announced its team for the ICC Champions Trophy yet -the deadline to do so elapsed on April 25.
Vinod Rai, the chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) which is running the affairs of BCCI, was disappointed with the snub and said he would allow BCCI members to call for an SGM to take the next step.
"We'd kept the CoA meeting after the BCCI SGM in Mumbai before the ICC meeting in Dubai. Amitabh Choudhary had attended that meeting while BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary refused to come.told TOI.
"Until yesterday, the idea of pulling out of the Champions Trophy wasn't such a realistic one. But 24 hours is a long time. Going by what happened today, the ICC has clearly and abrasively breached the contract that it has signed with the BCCI, which is the MPA," said a senior cricket administrator.
"Let India not play this tournament as a protest and then let's see how many ICC members still like the idea of going ahead with the policy changes. Someone has to call their bluff," he added.
However, the apex court's January 30 order clearly states that the authority to proceed legally on matters involving BCCI rests with the CoA, which has been appointed by the court itself. If the state units of the BCCI have to take a call, they will be in a position to do so only if the CoA is on the same page as them.