ICC Board is all set to meet virtually on June 1. Among the major points of discussion are the T20 World Cup, FTP for the 2023-31 cycle, and the future of global events, including the World Test Championship.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will seek one month’s time to decide on hosting the T20 World Cup in India in the wake of the Covid-19 when the International Cricket Council (ICC) board holds a virtual meeting on Tuesday. An array of important issues, including the Future Tours & Programmes for the 2023-31 cycle and tax issue with the Indian cricket board is also set to be discussed.
ICC Board Holds A Virtual Meeting On June 1 To Decide BCCI’s Request To Take A Month’s Time To Decide Upon T20I World cup
The BCCI, last week, confirmed that the remainder of IPL 2021 would be held in the UAE in September-October but authorized its officials to seek an extension of time from the ICC Board over deciding the T20 World Cup fate. IPL 2021 was suspended on May 4 due to positive Covid-19 cases in bio-bubbles and India has been struggling to deal with the 2nd wave of the pandemic.
While earlier, it was decided that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly will attend the meet in person, it is learned that now he will be present virtually and will only leave for the UAE on Wednesday to have discussions on the organization of IPL with Emirates Cricket Board.
There are no concrete outcomes expected at the meeting and after July 1, the BCCI will hold another SGM. The ICC Board is likely to make a formal announcement of its final decision during its annual conference starting on July 18.
“The COVID-19 cases are reducing but obviously it is still not a situation where we can firmly commit to hosting the World T20. Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah are right in asking for one month’s time to decide,” a senior BCCI source privy to developments told PTI on Monday.
“Obviously, they will also get feedback from the government whether it would be prudent to host it in India. The second aspect is that you never know when the cases will rise again. Right now, the lockdown in various parts of the country is yielding some good results but as we had seen the sudden surge during IPL, the situation remains fluid,” he said.
Last month, the BCCI had picked nine venues for the T20 World Cup — New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Dharamsala, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow. The final of the multi-nation tournament was scheduled on November 13 at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
However, one thing is clear that even if BCCI manages to host the tournament between the third week of October and the second week of November, there is no question of nine cities being allotted games.
BCCI May Have To Forgo Close To 1000 Crore If They Fail To Arrange Tax Relief From Government
The other issue that the BCCI is facing currently is the tax waiver that the ICC Board gets for its global events. It is understood that while the BCCI is in discussion with the top government functionaries, there are no easy solutions. If BCCI can’t arrange the tax waiver from the government, it will have to forgo ICC Board revenue to the tune of USD 125 million (INR 905 crore approx).
“In this post-pandemic world and a hostile economic climate which is pretty hostile, the Indian government providing a tax relief close to Rs 1000 crore for a cricket event seems like wishful thinking,” the source said.
“But then if BCCI can pull it off, good for them. In any case, we are not likely to give up on our hosting rights even if it is held in the UAE,” the BCCI source added.
The FTP for the next eight years between 2023 to 2031 will also be discussed with provision for the flagship ICC events apart from the bilateral series.
“Obviously due to the pandemic, every cricket board has lost money and the bilateral events are the way forward to recover the costs. In any case, currently rested ICC CEO Manu Sawhney’s proposal of a marquee ICC event every year was red-flagged by the ‘Big Three’ much earlier.”
“They need to look after the financial health of their boards,” the official further added.
Also, the future of the World Test Championship will also be discussed after a much curtailed first edition due to the pandemic. ICC chairman Greg Barclay, a few months back, had expressed his apprehensions about the future of the tournament but a lot of people believe that its prospects can’t be judged in a year where there was a global crisis.
“Women’s game is the next big thing and T20 is a tool to popularise women’s game globally,” the board source said.
The ICC Board will also discuss a strategy for the global growth of the game with special emphasis on women’s cricket. India’s participation in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games has given ICC Board a big boost along with BCCI’s in-principle approval to take part in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The ICC Board wants to spread the game equally in 104 countries.