Lalit Modi, IPL supremo, and P Chidambaram, the Home Minister, were in rare agreement recently when they emphatically stated that player security would be no problem during the third edition of the Indian Premier League. But, clearly, the League is taking no chances.
The IPL has bought a “terrorism” insurance cover of Rs 250 crore for the 60-match tournament that begins on March 12. “Let Australian players come to India. Let Pakistani players come to India. Let them play in Mumbai and I will guarantee them full security,” Chidambaram had said recently. But terrorism isn't the only threat. The Shiv Sena has threatened to disrupt matches involving Australians and the Telengana protests have left Hyderabad's matches under a cloud. Already, the opening ceremony and first game have been moved from Hyderabad to Mumbai.
“We do not divulge these details (of insurance policies) to the media,” was all IPL CEO Sundar Raman would say on the record. However, sources told the Hindustan Times that the Telengana situation meant that the Deccan Chargers’ home games in Hyderabad would have a higher cover than others.
From the pointed end of terrorism to the relatively mundane possibility of lost baggage, the IPL has every eventuality covered. “An agreement between Oriental Insurance, the IPL and the team owners resulted in a consensus on the medical, personal accident and baggage insurance,” an official told HT. But even here, there is a premium on players bought at an auction as opposed to others. A group personal accident policy means every player bought at an auction is covered for between Rs three to 12 crore. This varies based on the player’s match fee and works out to approximately seven times his match fee.
As players not bought at one of the auctions generally cost their owners less, the cover is proportionately lower — a Rs 25 lakh to one crore personal accident policy and a Rs five lakh medical cover.
Finally, there’s also a cushion in place for a staging association, in case of any mishap — a stampede, a fire in the stands etc — Rs 10 crore for each of the 60 matches.
Well before the first ball of IPL III is bowled, the cash registers are ringing for Oriental Insurance. In addition to hefty premiums from the IPL itself, all eight franchises are working with Oriental on parallel covers — for event cancellation, external advertisement and gate revenue collection.
According to an official, these policies number about 59 and the sum insured varies from Rs four to five crore per match, depending on the stadium capacity and expenses incurred on the game.