The ICC Champions Trophy, scheduled to be held in India in 2021, could find a new venue in case the Indian board fails to find a way to get tax exemption for the tournament. In a meeting held in Dubai on Friday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) board members directed the ICC management ‘to explore alternative host countries’ in a similar time zone for the ICC Champions Trophy 2021 if the issue of tax exemption between BCCI and the government is not sorted out.
In its media statement, the ICC stated that their concern is about the absence of a tax exemption from the Indian government for ICC events. “The matter came up when the ICC board expressed their concern around the absence of a tax exemption from the Indian Government for ICC events held in India despite ongoing efforts from both the ICC and BCCI to secure the exemption which is standard practice for major sporting events around the world,” the press release stated.
“The Board agreed that ICC management, supported by the BCCI, will continue the dialogue with the Indian government but in the meantime, directed ICC management to explore alternative host countries in a similar time zone for the ICC Champions Trophy 2021,” it concluded. The ICC’s warning came after India hosted 2016 World T20 but failed to get a tax exemption from the government. The news of ICC looking for alternate host countries has not gone down well in India. A senior BCCI office-bearer said it appears to be nothing but an attempt to pressurise the Indian government with the threat to take away the tournament from the country and warned that ICC may regret taking any decision that may be detrimental to BCCI’s interests.
“The ICC should be cognizant of the fact that it was under the presidentship of Mr. Shashank Manohar that the IPL was shifted by BCCI to South Africa in 2009. The comment made by him then, that the IPL was shifted out due to the attitude of the Indian government, was made against the will of the BCCI’s Working Committee and was one of many blunders of Mr. Manohar that cost the BCCI deeply. It would be another blunder by another organisation being headed by the same man to unnecessarily rub the Indian government the wrong way, especially after the support that the government extended during the conduct of the ICC World T20 in 2016,” the office-bearer said. “The general body of the BCCI shall examine the Member Participation Agreement very carefully before considering to execute it. The day is not far where the Hon’ble Supreme Court shall give finality to the litigation pending before the Hon’ble Court and from that day onwards the ICC and other member boards will have to deal with the elected representative of the BCCI at the ICC with the full force of the Board supporting him/her to protect the best interest of Indian cricket.”