India may miss out hosting 2nd tsunami tie

Published: Sunday, January 16, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:India might lose the opportunity to hold the second tsunamui benefit match between World XI and the Asian XI next month as the Government was yet to take a decision on according tax exemption status to the high profile match.

"We are yet to get a response from the Centre on our request to grant tax exemption status to the match which is a pre-condition to play host," Jagmohan Dalmiya, the president of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) told PTI here today.

Since the time is running out for making necessary arrangements for the match to be held in the second week of February, the ACC can at the most wait for the Government's response till tomorrow, he said.

"We will wait till Monday evening for the response from the Government. After that we have to decide on an alternative venue of the match," Dalmiya said.

Dalmiya had approached the Centre last Tuesday as the ACC chief with a request to accord tax exemption status to the match.

When asked what were the alternative venues for the match, he said that Lahore and Dhaka were the two other options as the Pakistan Government has already announced that it would grant tax exemption to the match if it was held in Lahore.

Bangladesh government is also likely to accord tax exemption status in case Dhaka is selected as the venue since the entire income from the match would go for tsunami victims in Asia, he said.

The first tsunami benefit match between Ricky Ponting led World XI and Sourav Ganguly led Asian XI was held in Melbourne on January 10 before a sell-out crowd and the match raised nearly 15 million Australian dollars which went to charity organisation, World Vision, for routing the proceeds for the benefit of tsunami victims acrosss affected countries, including India.

Kolkata with the 90,000 capacity Eden Gardens was the obvious choice for hosting the match in Asia to match the income generated at Melbourne but the delay by the Centre in taking a decision on tax exemption status has now cast a doubt on the city playing host to the match.

The match was earlier tentatively fixed on February 15 but as the Australian team would be leaving for its New Zealand tour by that date, the match has to be held between Febraury 11 and 13.

Dalmiya, however, said that the date of the match would be finalised once the venue was decided.

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