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ICC allows 7 additional players/staff for T20 World Cup

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New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) Even as the Indian cricket board assured the International Cricket Council (ICC) that tax and visa issues related to this year’s T20 World Cup in India will be resolved within a month, the world body has allowed participating nations to take up to seven additional players and/or support staff to their squad of 23.

The allowance for additional personnel comes in the wake of Covid-19.

“The ICC Board agreed to allow members to take up to seven additional players and/or support staff to accompany the squad of 23 to ICC senior events where a period of quarantine is required and/or teams are accommodated in a bio-secure bubble,” said an ICC statement on Wednesday.

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“The Board received an update on the ongoing preparations around the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2021 in India. This included an update from the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] on positive discussions with the Indian government around tax arrangements and visa guarantees. It is anticipated that both issues will be resolved over the next month,” said the statement.

The BCCI had missed a couple of deadlines, set by the ICC, for securing full tax exemption. The ICC had given two options — seemingly the final ones — to the BCCI. They were: the T20 World Cup is relocated to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other is that it provides an undertaking that if it fails to get the exemption then it will have to meet the tax liabilities, which could be a minimum of $31 million (Rs.226.58 crore) and a high of $124 million (Rs. 906.33 crore).

The BCCI also assured that it working to provide Pakistan team visas for the T20 World Cup. It is, however, not yet clear whether the promise for visas includes Pakistan fans and media, for which the Pakistan Cricket Board had demanded along with their team.

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The ICC also decided to postpone the inaugural women’s under-19 World Cup due to the pandemic.

“The Board agreed to postpone the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 Cricket World Cup 2021 which was due to be held in Bangladesh at the end of the year. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the establishment and subsequent development of the U-19 programmes in many countries and teams would not be able prepare appropriately for a global event later this year. As such, the inaugural event will now take place in January 2023,” the statement said.

“Similarly, to allow teams the best possible preparation, the global qualifier for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, will also be postponed and will now be held in December 2021.”

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–IANS

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