BCCI questions Manohar's position in tax battle with ICC
By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) The Shashank Manohar-led International Cricket Council (ICC) has warned the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that it will deduct a part of the BCCI's annual revenue share if it doesn't get tax exemption for the 2016 World T20 that was held in the country. BCCI office bearers have questioned how Manohar having been at the helm of affairs in the board at that time decide to turn his back on India.
Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI official pointed out that it was Manohar who was the board president when the World T20 was played in the country in 2016 and having been well aware of the way the tax policy works in India, it was abysmal that the now ICC Chairman has decided to push the Indian board's back against the wall.
"Shashank knows the facts better than the other ICC people because he himself was the BCCI President during the T20 World Cup and took all the financial decisions.
"You can't ignore the fact that the agreements were drawn up during the phase when the BCCI was getting a lion's share of the ICC revenues.
"They ended up changing the revenue model but did not consider its effects on India. If Australia is required to only make best endeavours for tax exemptions, why should the BCCI be required to ensure total exemption?" the official enquired.
Another official echoed the sentiments and said that the ICC Chairman should have recused himself when a call was being made on the matter.
"Why did Shashank ensure that Vidarbha Cricket Association was paid a certain amount during that World Cup for organising the women's games and other matches even though it did not require that much of a cost? He has worn the maximum hats in this entire transaction or sequence of events and he should have recused himself," the official pointed.
Another official warned that if things continue as they have, there could soon be a case of members looking for an alternative. "ICC has become a directionless organisation and if they are not careful, the cricketing world may be looking at developments not conducive to its health," the official said.
ICC Chairman, N. Srinivasan had worked out a financial model that saw BCCI receiving around $570 million. But soon after he stepped aside, successor Manohar went on to restructure ICC, and the Big Three model -- wherein India, England and Australia were given the giant share of revenues earned -- was abolished. The former BCCI chief had time and again made it clear that India only demanded for what it brought to the table as many questioned the board getting the lion's share of revenues.
Earlier, a senior board official had said that the ICC was free to move future tournaments out of India if it felt that was the way forward as matters related to tax needed the government's approval and external pressure would not help.
"We will abide by what the Tax Department and the Ministry decides on this. We would love for the World Cup to take place here, but if the ICC wants to play hard ball, they must be ready for everything.
"If they want to take the ICC tournament out of India, it's fine. Let BCCI then take the revenue out of the ICC and see who loses more.
"Those in-charge of administration are trying to take policy decisions without jurisdiction to do so. The ICC will find it difficult to hold the BCCI to those decisions since a lot of these decisions do not have the approval of the board," the official told IANS.