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BCCI’s plans to play T20 matches in USA hits roadblock

Anurag Thakur BCCI
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Anurag Thakur gestures as he speaks during a press conference (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

BCCI’s American dream has a hit a roadblock. The apex board, which is currently exploring the possibility of playing three T20 matches in the US, has realised the logistical, diplomatic and operational challenges which lies ahead if the plans have to get materialized.

The first major issue is that the US visa granted to the players will not permit them to play in the US as remuneration from the games would be taxable under American laws. A different visa would have to be obtained for the players and the BCCI has had to rush an emissary to Jamaica to resolve the matter. The applications for the right visas will have to be submitted in Jamaica. The help of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is also being sought in the matter.

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The other major issue is that of selling the broadcast rights. It is unclear if Star, BCCI’s media partners for international matches, can get to broadcast the games involuntarily. It is said that there is a chance that the BCCI will have to seek tenders.

The marketing committee meeting in New Delhi on August 5 will most probably address these issues. If all things fall in line, the matches will be played at Central Broward Regional Park in Florida late August.

BCCI is very keen on getting the best out of the American market. Previously, three Indian Premier League teams – Mumbai Indians, Royals Challengers Bangalore and Pune Supergiants – wanted to play there in the summer but the request was politely turned down by the board.

The reason it is perceived is that BCCI was unwilling to grant permission for the franchises to play thinking why should private parties be allowed to exploit the American market with its players.

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