India’s Champions Trophy boycott: Zaheer fears ‘major setback’

Champions Trophy
The Champions Trophy kicks off on June 1. — AFP/File
Shukriya Pakistan

Former Pakistan batsman and International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ex-president Zaheer Abbas believes India’s absence from the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy will be a major setback to the game.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have threatened to boycott the competition following ICC’s decision of ending the Big Three formula which has cut India’s income from US$450 million to US$290 million.

Things will start working according to the new formula after getting ICC’s final approval in June this year.

However, the Indian board will discuss the issue in their general body meeting on Sunday.

“If they (BCCI) are thinking to boycott the Champions Trophy, it will harm international cricket,” Zaheer told Dawn on Wednesday.

“Number of cricket playing countries is already small and India is one of the major cricket teams. If they do not go to England, it will be a big setback. I hope the BCCI will not take such an extreme decision,” he added.

Zaheer, who stepped down as ICC president in June last year, believed the termination of the Big Three system would reestablish standards of equality.

“Most of the ICC members (13:1) have decided to culminate the Big Three which will benefit all the countries equally,” said the Asian Bradman.

Zaheer praised England and Wales Cricket Board’s key role in eradicating the Big Three despite being one of the members.

The Champions Trophy kicks off on June 1.