Indian cricket might take a big blow with 'China Boycott' campaign catching pace in India following the border skirmish in Ladakh between India and China where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives. This is because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has direct and indirect links with Chinese brands or investors. BCCI is among the richest sports associations in the world. The IPL 2020 anyways seems to be jinxed and the anti-China campaign is set to make things worse.
The IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL's various sponsorship deals where its mega title rights deal with Vivo, worth Rs 440 crore per year will be reviewed. It looks like the BCCI is feeling the pressure to see the national mood against China. About 24 hours ago, the BCCI was non-committal on the issue.
BCCI to take a call on Vivo's sponsorship
BCCI's treasurer was quoted as saying that Chinese companies sponsoring an Indian event like the IPL only cater to India's interests. The BCCI gets ₹440 crore annually from Vivo and the five-year deal ends in 2022. Dhumal stated, "When you talk emotionally, you tend to leave the rationale behind."
He added, "Whatever money Chinese firms that are investing in the Board are taking from Indian consumer, they are paying part of it to the BCCI (as brand promotion) and the board is paying 42 per cent tax on that money to the Indian government. So, that is supporting India's cause and not China's."
Mobile company Vivo has a five-year IPL title sponsorship deal worth INR 2,200 crore with BCCI. Online fantasy league platform Dream 11 and e-commerce company Paytm are official partners of the IPL and these companies receive funding from Chinese companies.
What is interesting is that the BJP government has strong links with the BCCI. Incumbent secretary Jay Shah is Amit Shah's son and Dhumal is Anurag Thakur's brother. Anurag Thakur is the minister of state for finance and corporate affairs.
It will be interesting to see the decision that is taken at the meeting as the BCCI bosses; president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah have a recent change of mind.