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New Indian sponsor to tie-up with ICC for the next cycle

cricket Updated: Nov 20, 2014 02:55 IST
Sai Prasad Mohapatra
Sai Prasad Mohapatra
Hindustan Times
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While it is a season of postponement in the Indian cricket board, the International Cricket Council (ICC) isn't immune to it either.

A simple logic is that the two bodies are interlinked by a common head, N Srinivasan. In view of the goings-on in the BCCI around Srinivasan, a meeting with the ICC sponsors also got postponed.

It was scheduled to happen in Chennai on Tuesday, but the day was taken up by the BCCI's emergent working committee.

The ICC sponsor's meeting, it has been learnt, was called to finalise and announce one more global partner. Chennai was chosen for the meeting because the sponsor is based in the city. Though ICC was not willing to reveal the name of the sponsor, HT has learnt that tyre-maker MRF has come on board for ICC events from 2016 to 2023.

MRF's association with Indian cricket runs deep through its pioneering effort to train Indian fast bowlers in its Chennai academy.

It had also sponsored the six-nation Nehru Cup ODI tournament held in 1989. In September, the Indian board signed a five-year agreement with the MRF academy to train pace bowlers.

The ICC has been searching for a global partner after Hero MotorCorp pulled out of sponsorship from all forms of cricket, both with the ICC and IPL.

"We have rescheduled the meeting… it will now be held in the coming weeks," an ICC spokesman said, without assigning any reason for the postponement.

Besides its global sponsors, the ICC is also looking to cash in on local sponsorships that are event-specific.

After pulling off a $1.9 billion broadcast deal with Star Sports, the ICC is expected to earn another $500-600 million through sponsorship deals for the next eight-year cycle.

"We can safely fetch close to $2.5 billion through our sponsorship and rights put together," said a member of the finance and commercial affairs committee who recently attended its meeting in Dubai.