The whole cricket-mad country was yesterday seized by the growing controversy as it was revealed that there was more than one trophy and that India was presented with a different one from that given to previous World Cup winners. While the final was being played, that original trophy was locked in a customs warehouse in Mumbai as £30,000 of duty had not been paid by the ICC for its release.
Cricketing officials say that the Indian team was presented with a lookalike on Saturday night at the Wankhade Stadium. The ICC maintains that the trophy presented carried "the specific event logo of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and has always been the cup that the 14 teams were playing for".
The one impounded in customs, the ICC said, was the "perpetual trophy" used for promotional purposes which is housed permanently at the council's Dubai headquarters. "It carries the generic ICC corporate logo rather than the logo specific to the 2011 event. That [perpetual] trophy will be reclaimed ... and will travel back to Dubai with ICC staff as was always intended."
But cricketers and commentators disagreed, saying that under established custom the "perpetual trophy" was awarded to the victorious team after the final, albeit for a brief period. Thereafter, it was replaced by a replica with the ICC logo and the year it was secured. "Because the ICC declined to pay the customs duty for the cup despite earning such massive amounts from the tournament, the Indian team was deprived of being presented the real trophy," a senior cricket commentator said, who declined to be named.
Officials said the ICC refused to pay the duty on the grounds that the trophy would later be re-exported while Indian Customs said the tariff was mandatory as it was entering the country even for a short period.