ICC proposes Champions Trophy 2021 in T20 format
What's the story?
The ICC has proposed that the scheduled Champions Trophy in 2021 be held in the T20 format, rather than the conventional 50-over format prevalent since the first edition took place in 1998.
The ninth edition of the tournament had been allotted to India by the ICC, with the previous two installments being hosted by England in 2013 and 2017. The offer has been presented by the ICC seeking more marketability and compensating for possible revenue losses in the current financial cycle.
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Despite the confirmation that India would be the hosts of the next edition, the sport's governing body had expressed reservations about staging the Champions Trophy in the country in 2021 owing to tax-related issues.
The ICC was hoping that, like in all other countries, India's government too would be granting a tax exemption on the revenue generated with the staging of a global sporting event in India. Though the same had happened during the 2011 World Cup, which was jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, no tax exemption was provided for the 2016 World T20 which was hosted solely by India.
The heart of the matter
The BCCI has, however, completely denied the proposed switch of formats for the Champions Trophy, despite the ICC having stated in its board meeting in February that “concerns were expressed around the absence of tax exemption from the Indian government”.
In fact, they had even begun exploring the possibility of any other country hosting the same “in a similar time zone”.
Sources have strongly opposed to the desired change from fifty to twenty overs. “The format cannot and will not change. The Champions Trophy was introduced as part of the vision of our former president Jagmohan Dalmiya and it’ll be his fifth anniversary when the tournament is hosted by India. This move has been brought to the notice of the [BCCI] members and should the ICC persist, there’ll be a strong opposition from India.”
So confident were the BCCI of staging the Champions Trophy in 2021 that it is believed that they had even decided that the final would be played in Kolkata, the home city of the late administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya, who had played a significant role in the Indian board gaining some administrative powers in the late twentieth century.
Not for the first time has the cricketing world seen the ICC and the all-powerful BCCI at loggerheads. Recently, they were at odds regarding sharing of the revenues and the recent disagreement is about the hosting of the Champions Trophy. Despite the Indian government not providing tax exemptions, discussions between the ICC, in the company of the BCCI, and the Central Government of India would continue to try and convince them of the same.