BCCI, ICC negotiate over the issue of tax exemptions

According to an ICC spokesperson, both BCCI and the ICC are trying to reach a solution as India gears up to host global events in 2021 and 2023.

Whether or not tax exemptions for global events in India would be granted depends on the stance taken by the Indian government on the matter, according to a senior BCCI official.   -  AFP (REPRESENTATIVE)

The issue of tax exemption for future global cricket tournaments in India has once again become a bone of contention between the BCCI and ICC as the BCCI gears up to host the 2021 T20 World Cup and the 50-over World Cup in 2023.

The ICC and BCCI have had a long-standing feud on tax exemptions since the 2016 World T20 in India.

An ICC spokesperson said both parties were trying to reach an amicable solution. “The ICC and BCCI have been working in partnership to address the issue of tax exemptions for ICC events that is a requirement of the host agreement signed by all parties at the beginning of the cycle in 2015 and this work is ongoing,” the spokesperson told PTI.

“There are certain timelines within the agreements that we collectively work towards to ensure we can deliver successful world-class events and continue to invest in the sport of cricket. In addition to this, the ICC Board agreed clear timelines for the resolution of the tax issues which we are guided by,” the spokesperson added.

While ICC chairman Shashank Manohar and chief executive Manu Sawhney have been in constant touch with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, the BCCI top-brass didn’t like the tone of an email sent by the ICC’s legal head, Jonathan Hall. Hall, in his email, pointed out the BCCI did not adhere to timelines pertaining to tax exemptions as per the agreement.

Government’s approval

“The tax structure is not decided by the BCCI but by the Indian government. It is our government that decides whether exemption will be possible or not. For the record, Formula One also wasn’t given tax exemption,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.

ALSO READ | T20 WC likely to be postponed

Prior to the 2016 World T20, the BCCI got tax exemptions for global events, as stated in an earlier documentation of the erstwhile Committee of Administrators (COA). Normally, the ICC seeks exemption on excise duties for importing TV production equipment and ticketing. But in this case, Star Sports, which currently possesses the rights of broadcasting India’s international matches at home, has a set-up in India. This had been the bone of contention during the 2016 Word T20 also and that matter is up for hearing at the ICC tribunal.

“We understand that as the nomination process of new ICC chairman starts on Tuesday, suddenly there has been a flurry of communication. You can be rest assured that the T20 World Cup in 2021 and the 2023 ODI World Cup [are] going nowhere. As far as the timeline is concerned, we had told ICC that unless the lockdown is lifted, we can’t have discussions with government officials,” the influential member said.

ALSO READ | Sportstar archives: Abdul Rehman Bukhatir, the man behind cricket in Sharjah

An ICC Board member said discussions should be on to find a plausible solution as the first deadline for tax exemptions was December, 2019. The tax issue finds mention in a COA document of July 6, 2019, when the BCCI legal team was asked to get in touch with a British law firm as legal cases pertaining to ICC falls under the U.K. law.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos