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India confirmed to play in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy

Tha go-ahead was given at the SGM earlier today.

India will play their first game against Pakistan in Edgbaston on June 4th

What’s the Story?

India will defend their Champions Trophy crown in England in June after the BCCI gave the go-ahead during the Special General meeting which took place in New Delhi on Sunday. The interim President of the board had on Saturday said that the Men In Blue would go to England and play in the event, and that statement was confirmed on Sunday at the meeting.

The team for the event will be announced on Monday. 

The BCCI and the ICC have been at loggerheads over the distribution of money in world cricket with the Indian board refusing to accept the amount given by the ICC. The board had also failed to meet the 25th of April deadline to announce the squad for the event, in protest, while every other participating country at the event did so in time.

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There was a huge question mark for the most part of the time on India playing in the eight-team event in June owing to this battle between the BCCI and the ICC, but it now seems like while the two boards continue their fight off the field, the battle on the field will go on.

The heart of the matter

Head coach Anil Kumble had on Friday said that the Men in Blue wants to play in the event in June despite the issues surrounding Indian cricket. Past stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and others had also urged that India should take part in the event.

India is grouped with Asian neighbours- Pakistan and Sri Lanka- and African compatriots South Africa in the event and will begin their campaign against Pakistan in Edgbaston on the 4th of June.

This will be Virat Kohli’s first assignment at a major event as India skipper after MS Dhoni stepped down from the post in January. 

Extra Cover: ICC would want India in the Champions Trophy, says AB de Villiers

What’s next?

Now that India are confirmed to play the event, all the talk will shift to the 15-man squad for the event and over who will feature and who won’t. While most of the players do pick themselves, the debate on who will be the fourth seamer, whether India should take the third spinner with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja etc is something that the selectors have to take a call on.

Author’s take

The decision to not bar India from playing at the event will provide joy to the millions of adoring fans, who have been waiting for some positive bit of news for a while. What remains to be seen in whether the players can now put the controversy aside and focus on the job at hand, which is to bring the crown back to their homeland.

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