BCCI pledges ₹10 crore for Olympic athletes
The Indian cricket board, BCCI, has pledged Rs. 10 crore for India’s Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes. The decision was taken in its emergent Apex Council meeting.
It is learnt ₹7.5 crore will be spent for promotional purposes in the lead-up to the Olympics, to be held from July 23 to August 8. BCCI’s new rule book says a maximum of only Rs. 2.5 crore of liquid funds can be released for such a purpose.
Indian Olympic Association officials said it made no formal request to BCCI but had been promised by the sports ministry that it would receive some help. “As we understand, this has come from the sports ministry using its good offices with the BCCI,” an IOA official said. “We are fully welcoming of anyone who is willing to help Olympic sports.”
BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement: “The BCCI has decided to support Indian athletes in every form and manner it can. In that spirit, based on the request received from the IOA/MYAS, the Apex Council of BCCI has decided to extend support to the Indian Olympic Association and has pledged a monetary gesture of Rs. 10 crore.”
IOA had decided to part ways with Chinese sportswear makers Li Ning as sponsor, “to respect public sentiment”. It signed a sponsorship deal worth Rs.8 crore with MPL Sports Foundation on Wednesday.
IMPROVED BCCI-GOVT RELATIONS
The BCCI funding is a product of improving relations between it and ministries concerned in the union government. BCCI had provided Rs. 50 crore to the sports ministry’s National Sports Department Fund (NSDF) in 2008, after the Beijing Olympics. But the funding was discontinued after being told by the finance ministry that they would no longer receive tax exemptions as they had diverted funds to other sports.
Subsequently, the finance ministry has refused to provide tax exemptions to BCCI for hosting world events in India, which has led to BCCI’s tax dispute with the International Cricket Council (ICC). BCCI’s request for tax exemption for this year’s World T20 is pending in the finance ministry.
COMMITTEE FOR DOMESTIC COMPENSATION
In its meeting, BCCI also decided to form a committee that will seek views from all stakeholders to formulate a compensation package for domestic cricketers, who lost out on match fees after the Ranji Trophy was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile in response to ICC’s announcement of the next events cycle (2024-31) which would have an world event every year, the BCCI has decided to write to the ICC its interest to host the 2025 Champions Trophy, 2028 T20 World Cup and the 2031 ODI World Cup.