The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reminded the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that they are over a month late in submitting a letter guaranteeing tax exemptions for hosting the T20 World Cup in 2021 and the 50-over World Cup in 2023.
The BCCI, on it’s part, reminded the ICC that India are currently in the midst of a lockdown and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and that the letter can be issued later on too.
“It (the letter) is not something earth-shattering, given what’s happening around us. In 2016, the letter for tax exemption was signed a month before the T20 World Cup began. Who signed it? It’s time to understand better what’s happened in the recent past,” sources in the BCCI told The Times of India, adding that the email exchanges between the two parties “haven’t been pretty”.
The reason for this pressure is likely to be the upcoming ICC elections. Current chairman Shasank Manohar is coming to the end of his term and can seek a three-month extension for the chair understanding of ICC’s member boards.
However, the former BCCI president had said in December that he would not seek re-election and doesn’t seem keen to extend his stay in cricket’s governing body even temporarily.
The TOI report further adds that even though Manohar is quitting, “there are those who worked under him at the ICC (read: staff) who are now gunning to protect their turf. The only way they think they can survive this battle is by putting pressure on India to agree to their demands”.
What makes matters worse is that pending government approval, the BCCI has already agreed to the tax exemptions for hosting both tournaments. Another bone of contention is that ICC has witheld $23 million of the money it owes the BCCI from the 2016 T20 World Cup.
“April 18 was the deadline. But BCCI can’t be held to ransom like this. The deadline got over. ICC asked a letter of guarantee from BCCI. Somebody in the Indian board seems have buckled under pressure. And there have been some technical deviations in the drafting of the letter. So, overall, BCCI hasn’t given ICC anything in writing yet,” those in the know told TOI.