MUMBAI, April 4 (IANS) - The International Cricket Council (ICC) said Monday that the World Cup trophy presented to India after Saturday night's final at the Wankhede Stadium here was not a replica.
"Contrary to some erroneous reports, the ICC can confirm that the trophy presented to India at Wankhede Stadium on Saturday was the original ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 trophy and the one that was always intended to be presented to the winner of the event," the ICC said in a statement.
"There is no question that this was a replica. The trophy presented to India indeed carries the specific event logo of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and has always been the Cup that the 14 teams were playing for.
"The trophy seized by Mumbai customs is the promotional, perpetual trophy which remains in the keeping of ICC at its headquarters in Dubai. It carries the generic ICC corporate logo rather than the logo specific to the 2011 event. That trophy will be reclaimed today and will travel back to Dubai with ICC staff as was always intended," the statement read.
A controversy had erupted after media reports suggested that a replica of the World Cup trophy had been presented to India as the original had been seized by the Mumbai customs for non-payment of duty. Photographs published by a tabloid also pointed to discrepancies between the trophy presented to India and that presented to Australia after the 2003 World Cup.
Reacting to the issue, Sumit Dutt Majumder, chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), admitted that a trophy was in its possession but said this was at the ICC's request.
"It is on the request of the tournament committee we had kept the trophy at the customs," Majumder told reporters in New Delhi.
He said a trophy was held by the customs department at the Mumbai airport April 1 because it did not figure in the list of goods provided by the ICC.
"It did not figure in the list so naturally our officers said this is not governed by the exemption notification. There was no way to know whether it was indeed the ICC trophy. Nobody from the ICC tournament committee was there to receive that," said Majumder.
All the goods imported temporarily by the ICC for the World Cup were exempted from duties. The ICC had provided a list of goods to the customs department that were to be imported for the tournament.
As the trophy was not in the list, the person carrying it was asked to pay duty equivalent to 35 percent of its original value.
However, Majumder said considering the "gravity and seriousness" of the matter the customs officials immediately contacted the ICC. "The ICC immediately clarified that they already have the original cup and they asked us to keep it in our custody."