Mumbai: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is open to review its sponsorship policy in the upcoming cycle but it has no plans to snap ties with current Indian Premier League (IPL) sponsor Vivo as the money coming from this Chinese company is helpful in India’s cause and not the other way around, stated board treasurer Arun Dhumal on Friday.
Anti-China wave is quickly spreading across the country amid the rising border tension between two countries along the Galwann valley. The first skirmish between the two countries in more than four decades has led to the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers. Since it happened, people have been appealing to completely boycott Chinese products.
But as per Dhumal, Chinese companies like Vivo sponsoring an Indian event like IPL only serves the interest of India. BCCI charges Rs 440 crore annually from Vivo and the five-year deal will come to an end in 2022.
“When you talk emotionally, you tend to leave the rationale behind. We have to understand the difference between supporting a Chinese company for a Chinese cause or taking help from Chinese company to support India’s cause,” Dhumal said.
“When we are allowing Chinese companies to sell their products in India, whatever money they are taking from Indian consumer, they are paying part of it to the BCCI (as brand promotion) and the board is paying 42 per cent tax on that money to the Indian government. So, that is supporting India’s cause and not China’s,” he argued.
Oppo, another Chinese mobile phone brand like Vivo, was sponsoring the Indian cricket team until September 2019 when Bangladesh-based educational technology start-up BYJUS replaced it.
Dhumal also made it clear that he had no qualms about reducing dependence on Chinese products but as long as such companies are doing business in India, there is no problem in them sponsoring an Indian brand like IPL.
“If they are not supporting the IPL, they are likely to take that money back to China. If that money is retained here, we should be happy about it. We are supporting our government with that money (by paying taxes on it).”
“If I am giving a contract to a Chinese company to build a cricket stadium, then I am helping the Chinese economy. GCA built the world’s largest cricket stadium at Motera and that contract was given to an Indian company (L&T),” he said.
“Cricketing infrastructure worth thousands of crores was created across country and none of the contract was awarded to a Chinese company.”
Dhumal also clarified that BCCI always has too many options when it comes to selecting sponsors be it Indian or Chinese or from any other country.
“If that Chinese money is coming to support Indian cricket, we should be okay with it. I am all for banning Chinese products as an individual, we are there to support our government but by getting sponsorship from Chinese companies, we are helping India’s cause.”
“We can get sponsorship money from non-Chinese companies also including Indian firms. We can support our players anyway but the idea is when they are allowed to sell their products here, it is better that part of money comes back to the Indian economy.”
“The BCCI is not giving money to the Chinese, it is attracting on the contrary. We should make decisions based on rationale rather than emotion,” he added.