BCCI faces $270 million hit from IPL suspension

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New Delhi

The Indian cricket board is in hot waters as it would be losing up to $270 million in revenue after the Indian Premier League (IPL) was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis in the country, a senior official told Reuters on Thursday.

The world’s richest Twenty20 league was approaching its halfway stage before it was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday following bubble breaches in two venues.

“The ballpark figure for revenue loss would be to the tune of 2000 crore rupees (20 billion),” Arun Singh Dhumal, treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told Reuters. That equates to about $270 million.

“Given all our contractual obligations, we are yet to find out what would be the actual figure,” he said, adding that the governing body’s immediate priority was to ensure the league’s foreign players returned home safely.

The eight-team IPL, featuring celebrity owners including the great and the good of business and Bollywood, attracts the biggest names in world cricket to a nation devoted to the sport.

Players include the likes of India captain Virat Kohli, England all-rounder Ben Stokes and Australian batsman Steve Smith.

STAR Sports bagged the IPL’s television and digital rights for 2018-2022 for 163.48 billion rupees, agreeing to pay about 545 million rupees per game in a 60-match season.

With only 29 games of 60 completed before the pandemic halted this year’s IPL, the BCCI could lose a chunk of that pot.

“You get paid for what you deliver,” said Thomas Abraham, co-founder of SportzPower, a company that monitors sports business in India.

STAR Sports supported the decision to suspend the league but its officials were not available to discuss the financial implications when contacted by Reuters.—AFP

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