The battle lines between the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India are all set to be drawn yet again. According to a Times of India report, the ICC has issued a strict ultimatum that the BCCI must pay Rs 160 crore before December 31 to compensate for the tax deductions incurred while hosting the 2016 World T20. The ICC has threatened that if the BCCI does not comply, then India risks losing the 2021 Champions Trophy and the 2023 World Cup as the international cricket body looks at other options. The Committee of Administrators, who currently run the BCCI, have 10 days to comply with the demand from the ICC.
The issue stems from the time the World T20 was held in India in 2016. No exemption in taxes was given by either the state or the central government and the ICC had to face tax deductions of Rs 160 crore (over USD 23 million) for hosting the event. Star TV, the official broadcast rights holder of all ICC tournaments, had deducted all taxes before paying the global body for the World T20 and the latter now wants the BCCI to compensate for it.
The ICC, which is currently headed by Shashank Manohar, had reminded the BCCI during their meeting in Singapore. The global cricketing body has warned that if India fails to compensate for the tax deductions, then the amount will be deducted from India’s revenue share for the current financial year.
However, the BCCI has asked the ICC to provide them with the Minutes of the Meeting. The Times of India report stated that N Srinivasan, who was heading the BCCI in that period, at no point in time tell the ICC that the BCCI would compensate them for tax deductions should they not get a waiver. Board officials have said the minutes of the meeting have not been made available to them.
One BCCI official said, “ICC is shying away from sharing any minutes because they don’t have any. They just want to recover that money from India. Time and again, Shashank has targeted BCCI for his own personal agenda.” There are other stories flying around that the tax issue is part of a long-running acrimony between Manohar and Srinivasan. The BCCI have made it clear that if the ICC does not share the minutes of the meeting, then they will not make the payment. They have also pointed out they will not hesitate to take the legal route should ICC deduct the money from India’s revenue.
Another senior BCCI member called this whole fiasco a joke. “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 that organisation right now?”, the official said.
Recently, India received a big boost from the ICC when it Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) compensation claim against the BCCI for failing to honour a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral series. IThe Disputes Resolutions Committee (DRC) stated that the case against BCCI (is) dismissed by the dispute panel. The dispute between the Indian and Pakistan board dates back to 2014 when the-then BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel signed a one-page document which BCCI had a termed as a ‘proposal letter’ to play six home-and-away series against Pakistan from 2015 to 2023. The first of the proposed series was planned in November 2015 in the UAE but BCCI didn't get permission from the government which is mandatory for any bilateral cricketing engagement with Pakistan.