India queries Champions Trophy

India is expected to lobby for the end of the Champions Trophy at an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai next week.

The ICC introduced the biennial one-day competition in 1998 to generate income for its development projects, with India scheduled to host the fifth version of the tournament this year.

By eliminating the Champions Trophy, India would seek to play Australia more often.

"We could have Australia for a bilateral at that time, which could make a lot of money, say $50-60 million," said an India cricket board official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity.
"Therefore, why have the Champions Trophy?"

The tournament is the brainchild of former ICC and Indian board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.

"I think other countries may have a similar thinking. This will find a sympathetic ear," said the official after attending a meeting of the Asian Cricket Council.

He said India has already completed the schedule for 20 one-day internationals over the next four years with Australia and was discussing a similar arrangement with England and Pakistan.

"If we stick to the ICC's Future Tour Programme, we go to Australia only in 2011. By entering into a bilateral agreement we play them more frequently.

"Why should a host use up valuable, income-earning playing time for the Champions Trophy, where all the money goes to the ICC?"

The anonymous official said having the Champions Trophy every two years was also diluting the primacy of the World Cup.

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