Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
The BCCI has raised reservations against the budget allocated to next year's Champions Trophy to be played in England. Last month, the board wrote an e-mail to the ICC seeking clarification for the reason the ECB was being allocated a sum of money which was "three times" that allotted to the BCCI for hosting the World Twenty20 earlier this year.
"There is a big difference in costs," a senior BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo. "We have been looking at the figures [allotted for Champions Trophy] and the total tournament cost is significantly higher. At least three times higher than what we do here.
"For us they audit, say 'Reduce this, don't do this.' Similarly, why not do the same for everyone?"
The BCCI wants to understand how the budget for the Champions Trophy, which will be played at three venues between June 1 and 18, can be higher than the 27-day World T20, which was played in seven cities across India. The BCCI in its e-mail had also pointed out that a total of 58 matches, including both men's and women's fixtures, were played during the World T20 as opposed to the 15 games scheduled to be played during the Champions Trophy.
ESPNcricinfo understands the ICC promptly responded to the BCCI questionnaire on the Champions Trophy budget, although no details have been divulged from either parties. An ICC spokesperson said the ICC and the ECB produced a draft budget for the Champions Trophy based on the delivery of a high-quality event in that market which was then, as per the norm, circulated among member boards for comments. The budget was then represented during the ICC's annual conference in Edinburgh for ratification. This budget is monitored by the ICC throughout the event.
Despite speculation of the Champions Trophy budget being upwards of US $100 million, it is understood that the overall budget for the quadrennial ICC tournament is less than $60 million. The total operational costs calculated for the Champions Trophy is about $23 million, while the fixed costs, which include host fee, member fee, prize money, is about $20 million.
The remaining costs of approximately US$17 million, which is the major difference between the World T20 and Champions Trophy budgets, is for marketing and publicity expenses, but will be covered under the Value in Kind (VIK) with no direct cost to the ICC or its members.
Being an influential member of the ICC, the BCCI's stance is not being been seen as hostile. Officials in the know have pointed out the BCCI has the right to enquire, and they have been provided with a detailed explanation by the ICC.
Regardless, the Indian board believes the budget is too steep. "Even if you factor the price differential of various things between India and the UK, even then the overall costs are still much, much higher," the senior BCCI official said.
The BCCI is also unhappy with a plan by the ECB to rent an office to house the staff of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Champions Trophy. "Then they are talking of renting an office, then buying over and then eventually handing it over to the ECB. All kind of those costs are built into that (overall budget). How can you do that?"
The BCCI has been told that with the ECB hosting three major global events from 2017-19, it was necessary to have an independent office where the LOC could be housed. The LOC, headed by Steve Elworthy, the former South Africa fast bowler, has already started its work. In addition to the Champions Trophy, England will also host the Women's World Cup in 2017 followed by the men's World Cup in 2019.
The proposed office is expected to be a pre-fabricated extension to the ECB offices to provide a more cost-effective workspace for the LOC than paying four years of commercial rent in London. The workspace could be utilised either by the ICC's Europe staff or by the ECB post the 2019 World Cup.