Here's what may happen if India pulls out of World Cup

The BCCI, apparently, is taking up the issue with the concerned ministries of the Indian government and there have been reports that the BCCI has drafted a letter asking the ICC to ban Pakistan from participating in the World Cup. (AFP File Photo)

The Committee of Administrators on Friday may have decided to leave it to the government to take a call on India not playing Pakistan in the May-July ICC World Cup but such a drastic step, as demanded by some former cricketers, will have serious ramifications for Indian cricket.

Following the Pulwama terrorist attack last week where 49 CRPF personnel were killed, emotions have been running high across the country with some former players demanding India forfeit their group game against Pakistan. Some have been even opined that India should convince the International Cricket Council to get Pakistan -- whom India has accused of masterminding the attack -- banned from the quadrennial showpiece event or boycott it. 

The BCCI, apparently, is taking up the issue with the concerned ministries of the Indian government and there have been reports that the BCCI has drafted a letter asking the ICC to ban Pakistan from participating in the World Cup.

Firstly, it won't be easy for the BCCI to convince the ICC to ostracise Pakistan from the World for reasons beyond sports. They will have to convince other member boards to vote Pakistan out and considering it's the constitutional right of any qualified nation to compete in the World Cup, there's fat chance of that happening. Remember, after the CoA has taken over the administrative duties of the BCCI, India's muscle power at the ICC has considerably weakened despite the nation generating highest revenues for the parent body.

Secondly, forfeiting the game against Pakistan means India would lose two points. Pakistan have never beaten India in a World Cup and refusing to play the arch-rivals would be handing things on a platter. Also, India versus Pakistan is by far the biggest game in a World Cup with demands for tickets skyrocketing and advertisement prices quadrupling.

Thirdly, pulling out of the World Cup -- which the majority of the fans in the country don't want -- would land BCCI in deep legal trouble. BCCI has signed the Members Participation Agreement (MPA) and it simply can't walk away from it. They are legally bound to compete in the World Cup and pulling out may leave them in a mess.

More importantly, Star -- the main broadcasting partners of the World Cup -- won't be watching BCCI decisions mutely. Star India last year bought the media rights of Indian cricket for a whopping sum of Rs 6138 crore for the period 2018-23. Star also has the media rights of the Indian Premier League, paying an astronomical Rs 16,347.50 crore for the period 2018-22.

India is the cricket's biggest money-spinner and having paid about Rs 22,000 crore to ICC events until 2023, the Rupert Murdoch company will want to renegotiate their deal with the world body if the marquee event -- their biggest revenue generator -- is shelved off the event.  

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Here's what may happen if India pulls out of World Cup

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