Rpting after correction in headline and para 1

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BCCI takes on government, says it''s an autonomous body

New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) Putting up a brave face despitelosing the status of a National Sports Federation, the CricketBoard (BCCI) today said it was an autonomous body affiliatedwith the ICC and thus the sole body to pick the national team.

BCCI failed to submit necessary documents to the SportsMinistry and thus the government yesterday withdrew customsduty exemption on import of goods by the cricket body orbodies certified by it.

"BCCI was always an autonomous body. A lot of pressurehas been created in the last few months that we shouldregister with the government.. the Sports Ministry (but) thereis a different feeling within the BCCI," BCCI ChiefAdministrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty said.

The senior BCCI official also said that the revocation ofthe concession would not affect the hosting of World Cupin India from next month.

"As member of the ICC only BCCI pick the team. It(decision) would not have any bearing on the World Cup,"Shetty said.

However, the decision, according to experts is a setbackto the stakeholders associated with the forthcoming World Cupto be staged in India as the country would now be visited witha customs duty burden of up to 26.85 per cent on sportsrequisites.

India along with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is hostingthe ICC World Cup Cricket from February 19 to April 2.

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