India~~s future as Champions Trophy host under threat

Published: Thursday, March 17, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:India's future as a venue for major international tournaments was under threat as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) powerful executive board began a two-day session in New Delhi.

ICC president Ehsan Mani on Thursday went into the meeting saying India would lose the 2006 Champions Trophy and future World Cups if the government did not change its policy of levying tax on tournament earnings.

"The ICC gets tax exemption for every event it holds in any part of the world," Mani said. "We had approached the Indian government on this, but have not heard anything from them so far.

"If we don't get the tax clarification on time, we may have to take a decision to take the Champions Trophy out of India.

"The ICC, which is not a profit-making body, cannot afford to shell out 40 to 50 percent tax for major tournaments.

"Even the Caribbean governments have waived all taxes for the next World Cup in the West Indies in 2007," Mani said.

India, with millions of cricket-mad viewers, has the largest television audience for the sport in the world and wants to bid for the World Cup in 2011.

The ICC's tax waiver policy was not enforced when India co-hosted two World Cups in the past, in 1987 with Pakistan and in 1996 with both Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The executive board will also decide if Kenya and the United States should continue to be deprived of ICC funds following dissensions in the respective national associations.

Kenyan cricket was thrown into disarray after the government dissolved the Kenya Cricket Association (KCA) in January and appointed a caretaker committee which was later replaced with a new body, Cricket Kenya (CK).

The board will also examine alternatives to the current 12-team format of the Champions Trophy, regarded as the second-most important tournament after the World Cup.

Changes to the Test-playing program will also be debated following complaints from players and administrators that there are too many Tests.

All Test playing countries currently play each other once at home and once away in a five-year cycle but the board will discuss the possibility of changing to a four or six-year cycle.

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