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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, "which has become the wealthiest and most powerful body in the game over the last decade, has been hit by a demand" for around $433M from India's tax authorities, according to Andy Wilson of the London GUARDIAN. The "huge bill" relates to a change in the status of the BCCI, which is registered as a charitable trust, "arising from its role in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition." The BCCI "has been flexing its considerable muscle in recent days, first by slapping down an England proposal" to the Int'l Cricket Council that would have removed India's veto over the use of the decision review system in away series. Then it refused "permission for several English counties to use the Global Cricket School in Pune" (GUARDIAN, 2/5). ESPN's Amol Karhadkar noted the cricket body used to get various tax exemptions on the grounds of promoting cricket as a "charitable activity," since it used to be registered as a charitable trust. Now that the BCCI amended its objectives in June '06, "the government has started considering the BCCI to be earning income through commercial means." The "bone of contention has been the income generated through sale of IPL franchises and through sale of broadcast rights" for the T20 league. While the BCCI claims it distributes a "major portion" of the income generated to its affiliated units, the tax authorities have been reportedly seeking taxes both from the parent body as well as affiliated units" (ESPN, 2/5).

The Board of Control for Cricket in India "gave clear instructions to the curators" of all Indian Premier League venues "not to bow down to the pressure from the franchises regarding the preparation of tailor-made wickets" for home matches, according to the PTI. A member of a state unit said, "Clear instructions have been handed out to the curators that they should prepare sporting wickets and should not listen to any requests from the franchises. The franchise owners have also been apprised that they should not put any type of pressure on the curators to prepare wickets of their choice." The BCCI also decided that Jaipur's Sawai Mansingh Stadium will not hold any matches of the IPL's sixth edition "due to the long-standing impasse between the state's sports council, custodians of the stadium, and the Rajasthan Cricket Association." The Mumbai Cricket Association also asked the BCCI "to form a uniform guideline regarding who all can sit in the dug out or enter the playing arena of the stadium apart from the players during IPL games." The request comes in the wake "of the controversy that erupted during the last edition of IPL" when Kolkata Knight Riders Principal Owner Shah Rukh Khan entered the Wankhede Stadium turf "allegedly in an inebriated state." He had "massive altercations with MCA officials and one of the security guard, who supposedly misbehaved with the children accompanying the Bollywood superstar" (PTI, 2/5).

STATE SUPPORT: In Mumbai, Saibal Bose noted Rajasthan government's Chief Secretary C.K. Mathew has written to BCCI President N. Srinivasan "reiterating that the state will provide all necessary facilities and support to hold cricket matches" at the SMS in Jaipur, as well as in other cities. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot "too has spoken to Srinivasan, assuring him that the Rajasthan government was keen to host" the Rajasthan Royals' home matches at the SMS (TIMES OF INDIA, 2/5).

Pakistan Cricket Board Chair Zaka Ashraf believes that there are elements who do not want to see the revival of int'l cricket in Pakistan and "neither do they want the Super League Twenty20 tournament to be held on time," according to the PTI. Ashraf said, "I am aware there is a conspiracy to keep Pakistan isolated in the cricket world. But we have not given up hope, and we are confident we can organize the super league T20 and also this will lead to revival of international cricket in Pakistan." Without elaborating who these people were who wanted to keep Pakistan cricket isolated internationally, Ashraf said that arrangements for the super league "were continuing at full steam." Ashraf said, "I know there are people who are pessimists and who don't believe that the PSL can be held nor do they see the revival of international cricket in our country. But the PCB has not given up hope and is neither dejected" (PTI, 2/5).