The 2023 ODI World Cup is likely to start on October 5 and end on November 19. ESPNcricinfo has also learned that BCCI, the host for the 10-team marquee event, has shortlisted at least a dozen venues, with the final scheduled to be at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad aside, the shortlist comprises Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore, Rajkot and Mumbai. In all the tournament will comprise 48 matches including three knockouts across the 46-day period.
The title bout aside, the BCCI has not specified venues for any games as yet, or the two or three cities where teams will play the warm-ups. The delay in finalising the venues is due to the complications posed by the monsoon season receding at different points in different parts of India.
Usually the ICC announces World Cup schedules at least a year in advance, but this time it has also been waiting for the BCCI to get the necessary clearances from the Indian government. This includes two key issues: getting a tax exemption for the tournament, and visa clearance for the Pakistan team, which has not played in India except at ICC events since early 2013.
At the ICC’s quarterly meetings last weekend, held in Dubai, the BCCI is learned to have assured the global body that visas for the Pakistan contingent will be cleared by the Indian government.
As for the tax exemption issue, the BCCI is expected to update the ICC soon on the exact position of the Indian government. The tax exemption has been part of the host’s agreement the BCCI signed with the ICC in 2014, when three men’s events were awarded to India: the 2016 T20 World Cup, the 2018 Champions Trophy (later changed to 2021 T20 World Cup, which was moved to the UAE and Oman due to the pandemic) and the 2023 ODI World Cup. As per the agreement, the BCCI was “obligated” to help the ICC (and all its commercial partners involved in the tournament) secure tax waivers.
Last year the ICC was informed by the Indian tax authorities that it would be charged a 20% tax order (excluding surcharges) for its broadcast revenue from the 2023 World Cup. In a note distributed to its members – state associations – the BCCI pointed out that any tax “incurred” by ICC would be “adjusted” against the Indian board’s revenues from ICC’s central revenue pool.
In the note, the BCCI listed the ICC’s estimated broadcasting income from the 2023 World Cup at USD 533.29 million. It said the “financial impact” it would suffer for a 10.92% tax order on that would be around UDS 58.23 million (the BCCI’s note listed the figure as USD 52.23 million, which appears to be an error given the percentages listed).
That would more than double to roughly USD 116.47 million if the tax component were to be 21.84%, as desired by the Indian tax authorities.