Dubai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has a ‘Plan B’ in place, president Sourav Ganguly said in reference to the talk of of a possible crisis that the Indian Premier League is in following the suspension of their title-sponsorship deal with Chinese mobile phone company VIVO this year. The IPL 2020 is scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.
The BCCI and VIVO had, on Thursday, decided to suspend their partnership for this year’s IPL amid the clamour to boycott Chinese products in the wake of the Sino-India border stand-off.
The title sponsorship is a significant part of the IPL’s commercial revenue, half of which is shared equally by the eight franchises. VIVO won the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years from 2018 to 2022 for a reported sum of approximately Rs 440 crore (Dh 215 million) per annum.
“BCCI, it’s a very a strong foundation - the game, the players, the administrators in the past have made this game so strong that BCCI is able to handle all these blips,” Ganguly said during a webinar, organised by educational book publishers S. Chand Group.
Ganguly said the BCCI always has a ‘Plan B’ for these kind of situations. “You keep your other options open. It is like Plan A and Plan B. Sensible people do it. Sensible brands do it. Sensible corporates do it,” said the former India captain, regarded as one of the finest man managers in the history of Indian cricket.
Just a blip
“I wouldn’t call it as a financial crisis. It’s just a little bit of a blip,” Ganguly said. The BCCI will be releasing an ‘Expression of Interest’ on the lookout for a sponsor and the names of at least three companies: Amazon, Byjus and Dream XI are doing the rounds.
Asked about the BCCI’s decision to go ahead with the third edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge in the UAE, simultaneously with the IPL from November 1-10, Ganguly said it was part of the Board’s commitment towards making cricket a gender-equal sport. ‘‘In the last two World Cups, our women have shown what they are capable. The likes of Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur have been huge names,’’ he added.