Sports

IPL suspended after more players, staff test positive

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on May 05, 2021

BCCI may hold rest of the matches in Sept

After suspending the Indian Premier League  as a number of players and support staff tested positive for Covid-19, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is exploring the option of holding the rest of the tournament in September.

“The BCCI is looking at holding the remaining matches in the UAE or at one location in India, instead of moving across multiple locations. A window in September is being looked at to hold the games,” said a franchisee-owner, who attended an emergency meeting called by the BCCI to discuss the fate of the league.

The suspension came after multiple players and non-playing staff tested positive. The infected include Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha, Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra, Kolkata Knight Riders’ Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, and Chennai Super Kings’ bowling coach L. Balaji besides five ground staff at Delhi.

In a statement, the cricket authority said, “The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants in the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.”

“These are difficult times, especially in India, and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times,” the statement read.

According to BCCI sources, the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in October, could also be shifted out of India to the UAE although a final decision will be taken in consultation with the International Cricket Council.

Commercial ramifications

In the IPL, so far 29 of the 60 games have been played and while the BCCI is looking at holding the remaining 31 contests in September, the suspension will have commercial ramifications for all.

Varun Gupta, Managing Director and Head of Valuation Advisory Services — APAC, Duff & Phelps, told BusinessLine, “IPL will suffer significant losses. There will be loss of sponsorship and broadcasting revenues for the BCCI.  Teams will also suffer losses on account of reduced revenues from the central pool and loss of team sponsorship revenue” Though Star India will also lose out on revenues, it supported the BCCI decision. “...The health and safety of players, staff and everyone are of paramount importance,” it said in a statement.

Virat Tandon, Group CEO - MullenLowe Lintas Group, believes that creative agencies won't be affected much “assets such as digital or films that have been developed can be deployed elsewhere, budgets set for IPL can also be deployed elsewhere. I have no doubt agencies will find new ways for the brands to remain salient. Lives matter and the action taken is the right thing to do.”

But some team franchisees are not too happy with the decision. Parth Jindal, owner of Delhi Capitals said, “The suspension was a knee-jerk reaction from the BCCI. Globally, so many tournaments are going on with controls in place. We hope the BCCI will hold the remaining games in September.” According to one estimate, BCCI could lose out close to ₹2,000 crore if the games are completely called off.

Published on May 04, 2021

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