Border Tension Clouds IPL; BCCI To Review Sponsorship Deals With Chinese Firms

New Delhi: With the clamour to boycott Chinese goods getting shriller following the death of 20 Indian soldiers in border clashes earlier this week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has called an IPL Governing Council meeting next week to review sponsorship deals of the T20 league.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo are the current title sponsors of IPL, having bagged a five-year deal for Rs 2,199 crore in 2018.

The cash-rich IPL, world cricket’s most popular franchise-based league, has multiple commercial partnerships with Chinese links. Paytm, IPL’s official umpire partner, has investment from China’s biggest e-retail store Alibaba.

Also, Dream 11 and Swiggy, IPL’s online fantasy league partner and associate sponsor, respectively, have arrangements with Chinese internet giant Tencent.

“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.

“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,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal had told The Indian Express on Thursday.

The 13th edition of IPL, which was to be held from March 29, was postponed because of the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown.

The BCCI was hoping to find a window in September-October to reschedule the tournament. But now if the Board is forced to cancel title sponsorship and other deals with Chinese companies, there will be a big question mark over whether the T20 league can be held at all this year.

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