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The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has asked the ICC for the US$3 million it would have received for the latest Champions Trophy, but the board has denied that it is a loan. The tournament would have been held in September in Pakistan, but was postponed owing to security fears.

"We are not in the process of loaning the WICB any money; instead it has asked for the money it was due for the latest ICC Champions Trophy to be advanced to it," an ICC spokesman told Cricinfo. "Requests like this are not unusual and it should also be remembered that as the money earned by the ICC goes back to its members, the cash in question belongs to the West Indies in any case."

Despite the WICB denying the advance was a loan, it nevertheless is a worrying sign for a board who only last year hosted the World Cup: cricket's biggest cash cow. That tournament almost wiped out accumulated debts of more than US$20 million and was expected to put the board back on an even footing. But since then it has been involved in an acrimonious row with Digicel, its main sponsor, which ended in court. Costs were awarded against the board and a Digicel insider suggested to Cricinfo that these exceeded US$1 million.

"The WICB is not the only member country of the ICC indicating that its cash flow would be affected by not receiving the expected monies as anticipated," the board insisted. "Thus, any report that the WICB has made a loan application to the ICC because of financial difficulties is grossly inaccurate."

The WICB has also failed to find a sponsor for its domestic one-day tournament after KFC opted not to renew its deal, and this has cost it more than US$500,000.

The ICC is almost certain to agree to the request, but it will wipe out more than half the expected income of around US$5.5 million from next year's ICC World Twenty20 and ICC Champions Trophy. Interest will be paid at a commercial rate on the advance.
 
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