India could lose 2021 T20 World Cup hosting rights as BCCI fails to secure tax exemption

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has threatened to take away India’s hosting rights for next year’s T20 World Cup as the country’s cricket board failed to get the tax exempted for the tournament.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had to get tax exempted for the 2021 T20 World Cup but it has failed to do so which is why the ICC has sent a hard-hitting email to the Sourav Ganguly-led organisation, reminding the board that it reserves the right to shift the showpiece tournament from India.

The ICC had given the BCCI time till May 18 to sort out the tax issue with the Indian government but instead, the board has asked for the deadline to be extended to June 30.

“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.

This is not the first time the ICC and BCCI are at loggerheads over the issue of tax exemption. The BCCI had failed to secure tax exemption for the 2016 edition as well which was hosted by India as a result of which cricket’s world governing body had to suffer losses to the tune of $20-30 million.

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

The BCCI has sought more time to resolve this issue from the ICC, citing the lockdown in India as the reason behind their inability to approach the Indian government to discuss the matter.

“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 as the official replacement for the ICC Champions Trophy in 2021.

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