New Delhi: A decision on the fate of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia was Wednesday deferred until next month by the International Cricket Council, which also decided to give the BCCI another six months to obtain mandatory tax exemptions for hosting tournaments.
The three-hour meeting of the all-powerful ICC Board, held via video conference, didn’t spell out anything on the nomination process to find outgoing chairman Shashank Manohar’s successor.
However, the ICC decided to continue investigations into the leak of classified e-mails and all board members were made party to the inquiry.
For BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, it was a good day in office as there was some headway, even though temporary, into the long-standing tax-exemption feud which started with the World T20 in India back in 2016.
“A six month extension in deadline means that there has been some headway in discussions between BCCI and ICC. Tax exemption is government’s prerogative. The Central government cannot overnight give an exemption for 2021 World T20. Of all people ICC chairman would know it,” a BCCI veteran said on condition of anonymity.
Already, the BCCI’s case of paying USD 23.7 million as tax exemption for the 2016 World T20 is being heard by ICC’s Disputes Resolution Committee.
But no decision was taken with regards to T20 World Cup in Australia scheduled to be held in October-November but looking increasingly uncertain because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is understood that Australia’s sports minister Richard Colbeck’s positive message about the health situation Down Under may have also played a role in ICC keeping the decision on hold while discussing “contingency options”.
“We will only get one chance to make this decision and it needs to be the right one and as such we will continue to consult with our Members, broadcasters, partners, governments and players and to ensure that we make a well informed decision,” ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said in a statement.
Sawhney made it clear that the ICC will try its best to conduct the event in Australia even though Cricket Australia hasn’t shown as much keenness in organising the event this year as it has for the high profile India series at the end of the year.
“The situation surrounding the global pandemic is evolving rapidly and we want to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to make the right decision for the whole sport. The health and well-being of everyone involved is our priority and other considerations fall out from that,” Sawhney added.
With no decision taken, it is expected that outgoing chairman Manohar will not take a final call on the future of the event as he will be stepping down this month.
However, there was no word on why there was no clarity on the election and nomination process for the next chairman.
There was another round of discussions about the e-mail leaks after ICC’s Ethics Officer submitted his initial findings.
“The enquiry, which is being led by the ICC Ethics Officer, will be supported administratively by a sub-group of the Board comprising Independent Director Indra Nooyi and Chair of the F&CA Ehsan Mani.
“All Members of the Board and ICC Management are party to the enquiry,” the ICC release stated.