October window for IPL on the cards

London: The postponement of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia to 2022, which might open up a window for the lucrative Indian Premier League in October, is expected to be formalised when the International Cricket Council’s all-powerful board holds a tele-conference later today.

The decision, if it is formalised, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic will give members a chance to chalk out their bilateral blue-print in the coming months.

There is a good chance that postponement of World T20 will be decided during Thursday’s board meeting. Whether there will be a formal announcement or not is the question, an ICC board member said on conditions of anonymity.

There is very little chance of World T20 going ahead in this situation. I don’t think either Cricket Australia or the top boards will mind, he added.
It had been reported on May 15 that ICC’s Events Committee — led by Chris Tetley — might present multiple options and one of the options that members are likely to seriously contemplate is shifting the tournament to October- November, 2022 while India hosts its edition in 2021.

It can also be safely concluded that India will be touring Australia at the end of the year as members are likely to give more precedence to bilateral engagements to recover from the financial losses incurred during the pandemic.

The board member also said that it’s not only about the countries but also about broadcasters Star Sports, which incidentally holds rights for both the ICC events as well as BCCI’s ‘India Cricket’ rights and the IPL rights.

There are a few questions that need to be asked. The commercial viability of having a T20 World Cup in FebruaryMarch 2021. Before that, an IPL in October-November window and another IPL in the March-May window, a BCCI insider privy to the broadcast deals said.

The ICC Board is also likely to discuss the issue of tax exemption for the 2021 World T20 in India as BCCI has sought more time due to the lockdown in order to get a clearer picture from the government.

Already, the 2016 World T20 tax rebate issue has been referred to the tribunal. The deadline to get tax exemption was December 2019 but it is understood that the BCCI can hardly do anything when it comes to the country’s existing tax laws.

If they didn’t change it in 2016 World T20, why would they change the rule in 2021. And also the tax exemption is primarily on waiver of import duty of broadcast equipment.

We can understand that exemption is required in Australia but here Star has a fully operational set-up with all production equipment. Why do you require exemption?’ the BCCI official asked.

Agency