Published in The Express Tribune, on Dec 23rd, 2018,
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to compensate for tax deductions during the 2016 World T20 in India.
According to a report in Times of India, BCCI has been asked to pay a sum of US $23 million to the ICC before the end of the current year.
The report stated: “The official broadcasters of ICC tournaments, Star TV, had deducted the taxes from their payments to the ICC, but since the world governing body had to bear the cost, they now want BCCI to compensate for it.”
The BCCI — which is now governed by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators — has only a few days left to fulfill ICC’s demand.
In case BCCI fails to reimburse these payments, the ICC will consider other options for hosting the Champions Trophy in 2021 and the ODI World Cup in 2023 — which are currently slated to take place in India. Also the international body will deduct that amount from India’s revenue share for current financial year.
ICC — headed by Former BCCI Chairman Shashank Manohar — has said that they did not get a waiver from the central or state ministry with regards to taxes during the 2016 event. They added that this demand was stated in the minutes of the ICC board meeting in Singapore in October.
Responding on this, BCCI members are of the opinion that Manohar is pursuing his personal agenda and there is no record of such a thing. They are confident that ICC won’t be able to provide the minutes and hence this will strengthen their case.
“The ICC is shying away from sharing any minutes because they don’t have any. They just want to recover that money from India,” the board members said according to a source. “Time and again, Shashank has targeted BCCI for his own personal agenda.”
A senior BCCI member was left fuming on this issue as he talked about ICC’s dependency on India’s commercial stake.
“Biting the hand that feeds, eh? Is that what it has come down to? A sports body that has economic value primarily because it feeds on India’s commercial stake in the game is telling India that it cannot host a World Cup? And that too with an Indian heading the organisation right now? What a joke,” a senior BCCI member said.
It must be noted that the ICC had expressed their concerns over absence of tax exemptions from the Indian Government, back in February, earlier this year.
“The 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,” ICC said in a statement after its first meeting of 2018. “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.”