The pending matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was suspended earlier this month because of the Covid-19 second wave, will now be played from the third week of September in the United Arab Emirates. And in case foreign players opt for international commitments over the re-scheduled IPL, an auction for domestic cricketers will be held to fill up slots.
These decisions were taken at the Special General Meeting (SGM) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Saturday. During the online meet, one representative of a member association enquired about BCCI’s proposed compensation to the domestic cricketers who suffered an income loss due to the pandemic-time cancellation of Ranji Trophy games. Reacting to the suggestion, the office-bearers said that since the issue was not on the agenda, it would be taken up at a later date.
After the meeting, the BCCI in a press release said: “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year.”
The new dates will clash with international matches which involve key IPL cricketers. The England-India Test series will conclude on September 14. England are set to tour Bangladesh and Pakistan after the India series and as things stand, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), as indicated by the managing director of England men’s cricket Ashley Giles, is unlikely to allow its cricketers to choose the T20 league over international commitments. It could seriously affect a franchise like Rajasthan Royals that have England stars, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer, as key members of their team.
The members also agreed to keep UAE as a backup venue for the T20 World Cup later this year, although the BCCI will request the International Cricket Council (ICC) to wait for at least one more month before taking a final call.
The SGM also deliberated on the tax liabilities for the BCCI if the T20 World Cup is staged in India. Insiders said that BCCI secretary Jay Shah informed the members that the tax liability might go past Rs 900 crore.
Accordingly, it was decided that even with a small amount of profit, the Board should stick to organising the World Cup in India, if the Covid situation permits. In the case of a no-profit scenario, relocating the tournament to UAE has been agreed upon as a better option.
“With the Covid curve coming down in India, we are still optimistic about holding the T20 World Cup in the country in October-November. We will request the ICC to wait at least until the first week of July,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
The ICC wants tax exemptions for the T20 World Cup, or the money paid by the world body would be deducted from the Indian cricket board’s share of the revenue. The ICC had earlier wanted to recover the tax burden of the 2016 World T20 in India and threatened to deduct a part of the BCCI’s annual revenue share in case of non-exemption. The IPL was postponed after 29 games when Covid entered the bubble. With India reeling under the second wave of the pandemic, there’s a question mark over organising the T20 World Cup in the country as well, but as the BCCI official said, the members expressed optimism. The BCCI will communicate its decision to the ICC ahead of its Board meeting on June 1.