While the COVID-19 or coronavirus has started to affect cricket majorly, the governing bodies are working hard to return to the game safely. As the coronavirus is affecting the cricket bodies financially, IPL’s first COO Sundar Raman believes that the cricket world can’t afford the cancellation of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In the recent TOI report, Sundar Raman talked about the importance of Indian cricket and IPL for the cricket world. While the coronavirus has pressed the pause button in the large professional cricket, Raman has shown two scenarios about the return of the game.
His first scenario says that the game will return to TV/Digital platforms by July 2020 and fans will return to the stadiums by January 2021.
But for further delay, he comes out with another scenario that claims the game will return to TV/Digital platforms by December 2020 and fans will return to the stadiums by April 2021. In both these cases, world cricket will lose a big amount of revenues.
According to him, while the world cricket economy has been estimated for around US$1.9 billion, it is majorly depended on India.
Raman claimed, “This potential opportunity of India’s revenue contribution (unrealised by India) is alone worth US$ 1.2b over a 4-year cycle (2019-2022).”
IPL remains as the single biggest event for the global cricket economy: Sundar Raman
The IPL 2020, which was initially scheduled between 29th March and 24th May 2020, has been postponed amid coronavirus outbreak. Observing the present situation, IPL 2020 can be organised in October-November.
Though Australia has the schedule to host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 between 18th October and 15th November 2020, it is now highly doubtful according to the present situation. If this T20 World Cup gets postponed, the IPL 2020 can be organised in this window.
In this discussion, Raman showed the importance of IPL and why the IPL 2020 shouldn’t be cancelled anyway.
He said, “IPL remains as the single biggest event for the global cricket economy. With a contribution of around 1/3rd of global cricket revenues annually, the importance of IPL cricket’s global economy cannot be over stressed. If IPL was to be considered a separate cricket body and revenues from IPL were to be removed from the Indian cricket boards revenues, IPL would emerge as the biggest revenue generator for global cricket – higher even than ICC & ACC revenues combined.”
Also, while the recent cricket matches are likely to run in empty stadiums. While the IPL 2020 can handle the spectator-less tournament, the T20 World Cup will miss a big amount of revenue due to the absence of the spectators.
Sundar Raman further talked about the importance of India to the world cricket economy.
He added, “The importance of India to the world cricket economy cannot be over stressed. Outside of Australia and England, who have large domestic market deals, both valued at US$ 1b over a 4-year cycle, other cricket boards rely on Indian tours as part of bilateral fixtures to attract interest from Indian broadcasters.”
ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 had around 706 million unique broadcast audiences, out of which around 509 million were from India.