ICC vs BCCI: India could lose T20 World Cup 2021 hosting rights over tax exemption issues

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 27, 2020, 05.52 PM(IST)

Sourav Ganguly Photograph:( AFP )

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has threatened to pull back India’s hosting rights for the 2021 T20 World Cup as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) failed to get tax exempted for the tournament.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has threatened to pull back India’s hosting rights for the 2021 T20 World Cup as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) failed to get tax exempted for the tournament.

Following BCCI’s failure of getting tax exempted for the T20 World Cup, ICC has sent hard-hitting emails to the Sourav Ganguly-led Indian board while reminding that cricket’s global body reserves the right to shift the marquee tournament from India.

A deadline of May 18 was given to BCCI by the ICC to sort out the tax issue with the Indian government but the Indian board had asked for the deadline to be extended to June 30. 

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"In light of the BCCI's notification of force majeure, we would highlight the obligation on the BCCI of the Host Agreement and that IBC (ICC Business Corporation) is entitled to terminate the agreement with immediate effect at any time from 18 May 2020," Jonathan Hall, the ICC's general counsel, was quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

"The BCCI has clearly had many years to arrange the tax solution which is why the agreement asks for it to be provided .no later than 18 (eighteen) months prior. and why the BCCI was required to provide it by 31 December 2019. In such circumstances, IBC is not prepared to agree to the requested extension to June 30, 2020 or 30 days after the lockdown is lifted whichever is later.

"In the meantime, all of IBC's rights are reserved in full including the right to challenge whether or not a valid force majeure exists," Hall wrote in a letter to the BCCI on April 29.

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Last time when India hosted the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup, the ICC suffered losses to the tune of $20-30 million after the Indian board failed to secure tax exemption. And if India fails to get tax exemption for the T20 World Cup 2021, ICC will lose around $100 million. 

The ICC now stands to lose around $100 million if the BCCI fails to secure the tax exemption against the T20 World Cup in India.

The BCCI has asked for more time from the ICC to resolve the issue while citing lockdown in India as reason behind failure to approach Indian government to take up the matter. 

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"While BCCI has been making all efforts to get a 'tax solution' for the event, in view of the current situation, which is beyond the control of the BCCI, it is not possible for BCCI to obtain requisite permission/consent from the Government of India before April 17, 2020. In light of the above, the BCCI hereby requests IBC to grant an extension of time till June 30, 2020 or 30 days after the lockdown is lifted, whichever is later.

"For the avoidance of doubt, this letter constitutes a notice of Force Majeure under Host Agreement," the BCCI told the ICC.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in October-November.
 

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