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Border dispute: IPL to review deals with Chinese sponsors

The IPL has multiple Chinese links in terms of commercial partnerships.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata | Updated: June 20, 2020 3:56:41 pm
IPL 2019, IPL 2020, IPL 2020 coronavirus, IPL 2020 revenue, BCCI, BCCI star sports contract, coronavirus impact on IPL, covid 19, coronavirus impact on IPL 2020, cricket news, IPL news Vivo, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, acquired the IPL title sponsorship for Rs 2,199 crore in 2018 in a five-year deal. (PTI/Image used for representational purpose)

A day after saying that the BCCI would be open to reviewing the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) title sponsorship, the cricket board has called an IPL Governing Council meeting next week to review the league’s sponsorship deals.

“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 IPL tweeted from its official handle on Friday.

Vivo, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, acquired the IPL title sponsorship for Rs 2,199 crore in 2018 in a five-year deal. The IPL, in fact, has multiple Chinese links in terms of commercial partnerships. Paytm, the IPL’s official umpire partner, has investment from Chinese company Alibaba. Chinese internet giant Tencent has put money in Dream 11 and Swiggy, the IPL’s online fantasy league partner and associate sponsor respectively. Tencent has also backed Byju’s, the Indian cricket team’s official sponsor.

BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, on Thursday, had already made it clear that they wouldn’t hesitate to terminate it if the Indian government asks them to do so. “We stand by our government if it decides to ban Chinese products and companies. There’s no two ways about it. In case the government decides to ban Chinese products and companies, we (BCCI) will be happy to follow that,” Dhumal told this paper on Thursday.

READ | BCCI, IOA open to ending deals with Vivo, Li Ning

He had pointed out that by having a Chinese company as the IPL’s title sponsor, Indian cricket and the national exchequer have been benefitting and not the other way round. “In this case (Vivo as the IPL’s title sponsor), we are taking money from a Chinese company. It’s not that we are giving money to a Chinese company,” Dhumal had said, adding: “Money, 42 per cent of that goes to the Government of India as taxes. So in a way, we are helping the Indian cause. We have created cricket infrastructure worth thousands of crores across the country. So if Vivo is sponsoring cricket or the IPL, we are not letting them help the Chinese cause.”

READ | Marketers keep fingers crossed, hope for IPL boost

But Dhumal said that the BCCI wouldn’t award contracts to any Chinese company in the future to build stadiums or infrastructure. There have been calls to boycott Chinese products and companies in the aftermath of the flare-up on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Galwan valley that saw 20 Indian Armymen lose their lives fighting against the Chinese troops. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was one of the prominent voices to advocate not buying any items coming from India’s northern neighbour.

The Chinese connection

* Vivo, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, is IPL’s title sponsor.

* Paytm, a payments company and IPL’s official umpire partner, has investment from Chinese entity Alibaba.

* Dream 11, IPL’s online fantasy league partner, and Swiggy, the league’s associate sponsor, are attached to Chinese internet giant Tencent.

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