The pending matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL), suspended earlier this month due to the second wave of Covid-19, will now be played from the third week of September in the United Arab Emirates. And if foreign players opt for international engagements rather than the rescheduled IPL, an auction for domestic cricketers will be held to fill the slots.
The decisions were taken on Saturday at the Special General Assembly (SGM) of the Cricket Control Council in India. During the online meeting, a representative of a member association inquired about the compensation offered by the BCCI to national cricketers who suffered loss of income due to the pandemic cancellation of the Ranji Trophy matches. Reacting to the suggestion, officers said that the item was not on the agenda and would be taken up at a later date.
After the meeting, BCCI said in a press release: “The Cricket Control Council of India (BCCI) announced on Saturday that it will complete the remaining matches of the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League season in the United Arab Emirates ( WATER) given the monsoon. season in India in the months of September-October of this year.
The new dates will conflict with international matches involving key IPL cricketers. The England-India test series will end on September 14. England are expected to tour Bangladesh and Pakistan after the series in India and as it stands the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as reported by England men’s cricket general manager Ashley Giles, is unlikely to allow its cricketers to choose the T20 league over international engagements. This could seriously affect a franchise like Rajasthan Royals which has English stars Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer as key members of their team.
Members also agreed to keep the UAE as a back-up location for the T20 World Cup later this year, although BCCI will ask the International Cricket Council (ICC) to wait at least another month before take a last call.
SGM has also deliberated on BCCI’s tax obligations if the T20 World Cup takes place in India. Insiders said BCCI secretary Jay Shah had informed members that the tax payable could exceed Rs 900 crore.
As a result, it was decided that even with a small profit, the Council should stick to hosting the World Cup in India, if the Covid situation allows. In the case of a non-profit scenario, relocating the tournament to the UAE was agreed as a better option.
“With the declining Covid curve in India, we are still optimistic that the T20 World Cup will be held in the country in October-November. We will ask the ICC to wait at least until the first week of July, ”a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
The ICC wants tax breaks for the T20 World Cup, or money donated by the world body would be deducted from the Indian cricket board’s share of income. The ICC had previously wanted to recover the tax burden of World T20 2016 in India and threatened to deduct part of the annual share of BCCI’s income in the event of non-exemption. The IPL was postponed after 29 games when Covid entered the bubble. With India reeling from the second wave of the pandemic, there is also a question mark over the hosting of the T20 World Cup in the country, but as the BCCI official said, members expressed their optimism. The BCCI will communicate its decision to the ICC before its board meeting on June 1.