Leaked BCCI v ICC E-Mail Exchanges Takes Centrestage in ICC Meeting

Apart from the decision surrounding the T20 World Cup scheduled for October-November in Australia this year, the leaked e-mail exchanges between ICC and BCCI over tax exemption for the T20 World Cup 2021 scheduled in India took centre stage during the ICC board meeting on Thursday.

According to a report in Times of India, members suggested that the issues surrounding the tax dispute and the media coverage should be revisited.

The ICC also launched an inquiry into concerns over the “confidentiality” of its functioning, which the Board felt has been breached in the past few days.

The issues between the BCCI and ICC revolve around the IBC (ICC Business Corporation), the ICC’s commercial arm comprising its directors, rejecting the Indian board’s request for an extension in deadline to provide tax solutions to 30 days after the lockdown, or June 30, whichever is later.

The BCCI had asked for an extension saying the Indian government is busy fighting COVID-19. However, the IBC did not budge saying the BCCI had enough time to provide tax solutions.

However, according to the report, the ICC did not clarify who the members of IBC that are opposed to the deadline extension are. The ICC did not provide any document to support the IBC’s claims either.

“As far as the IBC is concerned, TOI spoke to four directors and they all denied being in the know of any such information related to tax solutions,” the report added.

The ICC acknowledged members’ concerns over the leaked reports and said their Ethics Officer would probe the issue.

“A number of Board members had raised their concerns over this issue (confidentiality) recently and felt it required immediate attention to ensure the sanctity and confidentiality of Board matters in line with the highest standards of governance,” the ICC release stated.

“There was unanimous agreement to immediately initiate an independent investigation led by the ICC’s Ethics Officer and supported by global experts. The Board will be updated on this by the ICC CEO at its next meeting on 10 June 2020,” it further stated.

It is understood that ICC board discussed all options with regards to the World Cup but there was no unanimity on whether to go ahead with the World T20 as per schedule or postpone it to 2021 or possibly 2022, which for many is a practical solution.