ICC issues India with warning over major event rights, appoints PepsiCo chief

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has threatened to strip the 2021 Champions Trophy from India amid a dispute with the Indian government, as Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive of multinational food and beverage corporation PepsiCo, was today (Friday) named as the organisation’s first independent female director.

The developments came following an ICC board meeting, with the world governing body expressing its concern around the absence of a tax exemption from the Indian government for ICC events held in India.

The ICC said the current situation has arisen despite ongoing efforts from both it and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to secure the exemption which is standard practice for major sporting events around the world. Along with the 2021 Champions Trophy, India is also scheduled to host fellow one-day international event the World Cup in 2023.

In a statement the ICC said: “The Board agreed that ICC management, supported by the BCCI will continue the dialogue with the Indian Government but in the meantime directed ICC management to explore alternative host countries in a similar time zone for the ICC Champions Trophy 2021.”

Meanwhile, Nooyi will join the board in June to align with the term of the ICC independent chairman, following the unanimous confirmation of her appointment at today’s meeting. The introduction of an independent director, who must be female, was approved by the ICC Full Council in June 2017 as part of wide ranging constitutional change aimed at improving the global governance of the sport.

The independent director will be appointed for a two-year term although she may be re-appointed for two further terms with a maximum six-year consecutive period of service. ICC chairman Shashank Manohar said: “Adding another independent director – particularly a female – is such an important step forward in improving our governance. To have someone of Indra’s calibre is fantastic news for the global game – she is frequently recognised as one of the most influential people in business today, running one of the world’s biggest corporations. 

“We undertook a global search looking for the right candidate who would complement the existing skills and experience already on our Board. A cricket enthusiast with experience in the commercial sector and independent of the ICC, any member or state or associated organisation were the primary criteria and in Indra we have found an exceptional new colleague and we look forward to working with her in the future.”

Finally, the ICC Board agreed a revised financial model incorporating increased allocations for Ireland and Afghanistan as the newest full members. The new model will see Ireland and Afghanistan each receiving a percentage of the projected surplus, amounting under current projections to approximately $40m (€32.7m) each over the course of the current eight-year commercial rights cycle.

Afghanistan and Ireland were approved as cricket’s 11th and 12th Test-playing nations at the June 2017 meeting having fought long campaigns to gain such status.