Dubai: The Indian government’s stance of not approving a tax exemption to the International Cricket Council (ICC) could possibly see India losing out on hosting two of the biggest global tournaments — the 2021 Champions Trophy and the 2023 World Cup — in the next five years. The ICC board during its meeting here on Friday expressed concern, fearing revenue loss of atleast $100 million, and therefore directed its management to look out for alternative venues, beginning with the Champions Trophy, if the issue is not resolved.
“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,” the ICC said in a media release, after the board meeting in Dubai on Friday.
“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,” the release added.
The ICC board meeting which was also attended by BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, has been stung by the experiences of the 2016 World T20 (hosted by India), for which tax exemption has not yet been approved, due to which the ICC has suffered a revenue shortfall of $20-30 million. Two years on, and despite constant reminders by the ICC and the BCCI, the Indian government has not changed its stand on providing exemptions.
Despite the BCCI’s attempts at facilitation, the ICC board remains wary of exposing itself to what some officials calculate could be losses of $100-125 million if the Indian government fails to provide tax exemption for the Champions Trophy and the 2023 World Cup.