New Delhi: Members of the Indian World Cup squad can finally look forward to lay their hands on the prize money they earned for their run to the final of cricket’s quadrennial showpiece.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has released a cheque for over $900,000 in favour of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) this week, highly placed sources in the Board confirmed. However, the BCCI should not expect the full amount to come its way straightaway.
The ICC has released the money with the condition that 30 per cent of it must be kept aside as a cover for tax demands, if any, from the local regulators of the 2003 World Cup —the South African revenue service.
“The South African regulatory body has not so far made a tax demand of 30 per cent on the prize money released, but it is something which could still be made in near future, according to the ICC instructions received by us,” a top board official said.
Though the ICC has released the prize money due to the Indians, it has held back another “$8-9 million due to the BCCI as guarantee money”. This is to cover any possible claims made by the Global Cricket Corporation — which held the marketing rights for the event — for breach of contract following the contracts controversy.
It wasn’t India’s pay purse alone that was held back by the world body. The ICC also kept back the prize money of other participating nations as well, including winners Australia.
The ICC has similarly held back $3.5 million in guarantee money due to the England and Wales Cricket Board for their refusal to play in Zimbabwe during the World Cup and $2.5 million due to New Zealand Cricket for deciding against playing in Kenya.
England and New Zealand’s refusal to tour the troubled African nations, in fact, kicked up a major row and forced the ICC top brass to consider the option of strictly penalising the teams in case of similar incidents in the future.
A winner in the league stage of the World Cup received $10,000. The amount jumped to $40,000 for the winners in the Super Six stage, $400,000 in the semi-finals and $2,000,000 in the final. The runners-up’s share was $800,000. The Indian players are fortunate to have received tax exemption from finance minister Jaswant Singh for their sterling performance in the World Cup, unlike cricketers from some other countries including minnows Kenya, who have gone public with their appeal to the government to waive tax.
Kenya captain Steve Tikolo had said the team were perturbed at how slowly the Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) was pursuing the issue when the Kenya shilling continued to gain against the US dollar.
“We are not at war with KCA but this delay is a matter of concern to us after such a sterling performance,” Tikolo said on Tuesday.
Sourav Ganguly and his boys came up with a spirited performance in the World Cup and reached the title-round for the first time since 1983 before being hammered by Australia.