The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday decided to buy time and again deferred a decision on the fate of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia until next month.
At its board meeting via videoconference, it was also decided to allow the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) an extension of the deadline to submit the tax exemption guarantees, required for hosting ICC tournaments, till December.
However the meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, failed to arrive at a conclusion on holding its elections — the deadline for filing nominations, the date and its procedure. Another meeting is expected within a fortnight.
According to sources, the members spent a lot of time discussing the global situation and its possible fallout on the T20 World Cup. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani made it clear that nothing should be decided in a hurry given that sporting events are beginning to open up across the world.
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place from October 18 to November 15.
Australia sports minister Richard Colbeck’s assertion on Tuesday that the tournament could be organised in his country has also given a fillip to the ICC.
However, the PCB’s zeal in pushing the ICC to not arrive at a decision on the T20 World Cup has raised eyebrows.
“The PCB and certain other people with vested interests obviously do not want the IPL to happen. They are hell bent on deferring a decision on the T20 World Cup and leave little time for the BCCI to organise the IPL if the Australia event is cancelled.
“It also includes some influential members in the ICC. Why aren’t election and ICC annual conference dates being announced? Things are being unnecessarily dragged too far,” someone in the know of things told The Telegraph.
Even the stakeholders, including broadcasters, have been pressing for an early decision to minimise costs. But the world governing body has so far turned a blind eye to their requests.
The ICC in a media release stressed on its commitment to explore contingency plans.
“The ICC board agreed to continue exploring a number of contingency plans regarding the future of the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2020 and the ICC women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 until next month whilst planning for delivery of the events in the scheduled window,” the governing body said in a media release.
ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney explained the decision, saying: “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.”
The ICC finally agreed to give the BCCI a breather on the contentious tax issue that has been a long-standing matter of dispute. It was learnt that chairman Shashank Manohar and the board decided on an extension of the deadline after BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s assurance that the matter will be resolved once the lockdown is fully lifted and things are back to normal.
“The board discussed the ongoing issue of tax exemptions required for ICC events and agreed to extend the deadline given to the BCCI to provide a tax solution to December 2020,” the ICC said.
It was learnt that the BCCI has told the ICC that they will, if need be, approach the Prime Minister’s Office for a tax exemption.
The ICC also decided to make all board members party to the investigation into the leakage of confidential documents in the media.
“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 financial and commercial affairs committee Ehsan Mani. All members of the board and ICC management are party to the enquiry,” the ICC said.