No harm in letting Chinese company sponsor IPL: BCCI Board Treasurer

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 19, 2020

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is forthcoming to review its sponsorship policy. However, it has no plans to shun its association with Indian Premier League (IPL) title sponsor Chinese company Vivo. It is because the money is flowing in from China and not the other way around, board treasurer Arun Dhumal said on Friday.

This came at a time when Indians are enraged with escalated tension along the border of Ladakh at Galwan Valley earlier this week.

The first aggressive stand-off between India and China in more than four decades has claimed at least 20 Indian soldiers’ life. Since then, calls have been made to boycott Chinese products.

But Dhumal said Chinese companies sponsoring an Indian event like the IPL only cater to India's interests. The BCCI gets ₹440 crore annually from Vivo and the five-year deal ends in 2022, agency report added.

"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 told PTI.

"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, a Chinese mobile phone brand, was the official sponsor of the Indian cricket team until Byju’s, India’s ed-tech startup took over.

‘Money inflow is welcome’

Dhumal said that he supports the idea of reducing dependence on Chinese companies. However, as long as they are doing business in India, there is no harm in them sponsoring Indian brands like the 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 were created across country and none of the contracts was awarded to a Chinese company."

According to him, if that Chinese money is coming to support Indian cricket, people should be okay with it.

He told the media that he was all for banning Chinese products as an individual. “We are there to support our government but by getting sponsorship from a Chinese company, we are helping India's cause," he added.

"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 the 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 further added

Published on June 19, 2020

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