The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Friday said it will review Indian Premier League’s sponsorship deals in a meeting next week, taking note of the fact that 20 Indian soldiers were killed during a clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh.
With growing calls around the country for boycotting Chinese goods, the meeting of the IPL Governing Council will presumably review the yearly Rs 440 crore title sponsorship deal with Vivo. Having won the bid first in 2015, the mobile phone manufacturers retained the title sponsorship rights for the IPL for a five-year period starting from 2017. Vivo’s winning bid of Rs 2,199 crore was far higher than the next best one – Rs 1,430 crore from competitor Oppo.
“Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave jawans, the IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL’s various sponsorship deals,” the league said on Friday.
Apart from Vivo, PayTm is also one of the sponsors and the mobile wallets company has Alibaba as one of its investors. It is understood that discussion will be on whether to invoke the exit clause or honour Vivo’s contract till 2022, reported PTI.
Tensions between India and China escalated this week after at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with their Chinese counterparts in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15. China has not released the number of its soldiers who died. This is the first instance of casualties on the Line of Actual Control since 1975. On June 16, New Delhi blamed the confrontation on Beijing’s attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the area.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal had told PTI that while money from Chinese sponsorship is helping Indian economy, if there is a situation where a decision needs to be taken, they would always put country first.
“When you talk emotionally, you tend to leave the rationale behind. We have to understand the difference between supporting a Chinese company for a Chinese cause or taking help from Chinese company to support India’s cause,” Dhumal had told PTI on Friday.
“When we are allowing Chinese companies to sell their products in India, whatever money they are taking from Indian consumer, they are paying part of it to the BCCI (as brand promotion) and the board is paying 42% tax on that money to the Indian government. So, that is supporting India’s cause and not China’s,” he had added.
The uncertainty over IPL has been ongoing during the recent weeks. Dhumal had earlier said the board could suffer huge losses if the thirteenth edition (currently postponed indefinitely) is not held and the Covid-19 pandemic carries on for a long time.
“We’ll be able to assess it once we know when we’re going to start [the cricket],” Dhumal told Cricbuzz. “As of now, every bilateral that we miss, we’ll be losing money. And if we’re not able to organise IPL then that’ll lead to a big hit. Not having an IPL would end up with a revenue loss of about Rs 4000 crore.”
The board is said to be waiting for an official decision from ICC regarding the T20 World Cup before organising IPL in the September-October window.
(With PTI inputs)