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BCCI on collision course as ICC proposes annual global events

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly
Abhishek R
ANALYST
Modified 20 Feb 2020, 12:47 IST
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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not happy with the letter that ICC has sent to all its member boards regarding the hosting rights of the proposed annual global events of the 2023-31 cycle.

In its letter, ICC has asked the member boards for their expression of interest about hosting the global events which will be organized every year from 2023 onwards.

ICC has mentioned in the letter that apart from the ODI World Cup and T20I World Cup, another tournament named Champions Cup will be played at the global level in both 50-over and 20-over cricket.

ICC has also made it clear that whichever board is seeking the hosting rights of the events will have to provide guarantees to the ICC. The guarantees include tax exemption and government investment.

The BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has hit out at ICC questioning how can the game’s governing body ask for the expression of interest about hosting the tournaments when the tournaments have not been approved in the first place?

“The move has never been approved. If it was approved, why are they calling for expression of interest? These are two contradictory statements. They are seeking an approval now,” Dhumal was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

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ICC had a board meeting last year where the Champions Cup was proposed and the proposal was given a "provisional" go-ahead by the board, despite BCCI opposing the proposal.

When BCCI’s new hierarchy took over, BCCI sent a formal letter to the ICC insisting that they were not in favour of organizing a global event annually. However, the ICC doesn’t seem to have paid any attention to BCCI’s letter and are pushing their idea forward.

In the letter that has been received by the member boards of the ICC, it has been made clear by ICC’s chief executive Manu Sawhney that the process of awarding the hosting rights of the global events of 2023-31 cycle must be completed by the last quarter of 2020.

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“What happens if none of the important boards express interest to host these tournaments? Where will the events be staged?” Dhumal added.

The former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah has also strongly opposed the idea of the annual global events. “Whatever may be the repercussions from the ICC, BCCI should not accept such an impractical move. The calendar of a bilateral series cannot be compromised as this brings huge media rights revenue to the BCCI.” Shah said in a statement.

BCCI is one of those few member boards which generate a lot of money through bilateral series. But, the bilateral games that India play will have to be reduced by a significant number if the annual global events proposed by the ICC eventually get organized.

While the annual global events will enhance ICC’s earnings and ultimately, the earnings of the other member boards as well, as the member boards get a fraction of ICC’s global revenue share, it will have an adverse impact on BCCI’s earnings.

Published 19 Feb 2020, 13:31 IST
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