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PCB offers to host Champions Trophy 2021 after Indian tax issues

Faizan Lakhani

KARACHI: With India uncertain to host the 2021 ICC Champions Trophy due to tax issues, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has stepped in with an offer to the ICC of hosting the top ODI cricket event.

The ICC had earlier stated that they are concerned about the absence of tax exemption from the Indian government for ICC events.

“The matter came up when the ICC board expressed their concern around the absence of tax exemption from the Indian Government for ICC events held in India, despite ongoing efforts from both the ICC and BCCI to secure the exemption which is a standard practice for major sporting events around the world,” the ICC statement had said after a meeting last week.

While the issue was discussed during the ICC meeting, PCB had offered ICC to host the tournament as ICC was considering an alternative venue in the same time zone.

“In the ICC meeting last week, the PCB offered the ICC to host Champions’ Trophy 2021,” confirmed a well-placed source.

The source further confirmed that PCB Chairman Najam Sethi had also offered the international cricketing body to get tax exemption from the government of Pakistan for the event.

While BCCI was unable to commit anything to ICC on tax exemption, the PCB offer to ICC was considered seriously.

However, a decision is not likely to be taken before 2019’s board meeting.

With Pakistan inching towards the complete revival of international cricket in the country and foreign security experts starting to show faith in Pakistan’s security arrangements, it is very much likely that the event – which is still three years away - will be shifted from India to Pakistan.

There is also a possibility that Pakistan may host the event jointly with UAE with Pakistan’s matches being played in Pakistan and the other games being played in the United Arab Emirates.