There’s no clarity when the IPL‘s Governing Council meeting will be held but what appears certain is the fact that the BCCI will not sever ties with Chinese phone maker VIVO if the exit clause doesn’t favour the Indian cricket board.Also Read - Shardul Thakur Reacts on Virat Kohli's Decision to Step Down as T20 Captain of India After T20 World Cup
Soon after the violent clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers on June 15 in eastern Ladakh, a wave of boycotting Chinese products swept the nation and BCCI had said it will review its contracts with IPL sponsors. Also Read - Ravi Shastri Hints at Stepping Down as India Head Coach After T20 World Cup, Says 'Never Overstay Your Welcome'
VIVO pays BCCI Rs 440 crore annually as IPL’s title sponsor. Also Read - Following Virat Kohli's Captaincy Call, BCCI Could Approach Anil Kumble For Role of Team India Head Coach: Report
On June 19, the official IPL twitter handle had put out a post that read, “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.”
Explaining why there hasn’t been a meeting yet, a BCCI official on condition of anonymity told PTI that, “We still don’t know about fate of T20 World Cup, Asia Cup, so how can we just have a meeting? Yes, we need to discuss sponsorship but we never used the word cancel or terminate.”
However, he rejected any speculation that BCCI will terminate its contract with VIVO if the exit clause favours the Chinese company.
“We said we will review sponsorship. Review means that we need to check all the modalities of the contract. If the ‘Exit Clause’ favours VIVO more, why should we terminate a Rs 440 crore per year contract. We will only terminate if ‘Exit Clause’ favours us,” he said.
There are other BCCI sponsors who have Chinese investments including the likes of PayTM (Alibaba as investor) or Dream XI, BYJUs and SWIGGY, who have investment from Chinese video game company Tencent.
However, since these are Indian entities, they won’t be under the cosh.
News agency PTI further quoted another GC council member as saying that nothing has been conveyed to them abut the meeting by the BCCI yet.
“I have called the IPL chairman (Brijesh Patel) and CEO (Rahul Johri) after I saw the tweet. But till date, I haven’t been intimated about any meeting. Possibly, they want to have a big meeting once the T20 World Cup is officially postponed,” the veteran GC member was quoted as saying.
Termination of contract could see BCCI paying substantial compensation to VIVO and additionally, due to the prevailing economical circumstances, it will be a task attracting new sponsors.