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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made its stand clear on retaining VIVO as IPL 2020 title sponsors. The recent border violations by China and the killing of Indian army personnel on the India-China border has resulted in a lot of individuals and associations banning or disassociating themselves from Chinese products. Vivo’s contract, coupled with Star India’s five-year media rights deal worth Rs 16,347 crore, make IPL the most rewarding T20 competition in the world.
In the same light, speculations were going around the IPL as well because VIVO, a moble manufacturing giant, has been the title sponsor of the cash-rich league for a very long time now. In July 2017, Vivo bagged the IPL title rights for five years in a deal worth Rs 2,199 crore, a whopping 267% premium over the base price. Incidentally, the second-highest bidder was Oppo, another Chinese smartphone brand that had bid Rs 1,430 crore.
Now, BCCI has made it clear that the board will retain VIVO as the IPL title sponsor and the deal will remain as per the contract.
IPL 2020: BCCI Clear On Retaining VIVO As Title Sponsors
“The contract was signed by our predecessors. It’s a five-year deal and will continue,” said treasurer Arun Dhumal. “As far as anti-China sentiment is concerned, I am all for ban on Chinese products. For me personally, and BCCI as an organisation, the country comes first. But we have to differentiate between awarding contracts to a Chinese company and securing sponsorships. The money is coming into India,” he argued.
“Till the time a Chinese company is allowed to sell their product and make money from the Indian consumer, why should that money (sponsorship) be allowed to go out of India, is my limited point.”
IPL 2020 was slated to start from March 29 this year. But, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic in India, the tournament has been suspended indefinitely. Now, with the delay advancing, franchises are in huge bother that the tournament might get cancelled permanently. It has led to a possibility to go ahead with the tournament behind closed doors.
Speculations Intensify Over IPL 2020 Future
IPL 2020 was scheduled to start from March 29, but due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI postponed it until April 15. As the nationwide lockdown extended in India, BCCI suspended IPL 2020 Indefinitely. Now, with the situation worsening, it seems a huge possibility that IPL stands nothing but cancelled this year.
On April 10, latest reports suggested that the BCCI is probing into the July window to conduct the IPL and it could take place behind closed doors. However, all hopes once again vanished as the BCCI suspended the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 indefinitely in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. With COVID-19 victims toll rising in India, cricket returning to India seems a possibility far from reality.