IPL 2017 trophy.(Sportzpics)
IPL 2017 trophy.(Sportzpics)

BCCI bids to minimise non-IPL losses as apex council meets

The Indian board will discuss restructuring bilateral FTP that was worth R665 crore in 2020 before the pandemic
By Rasesh Mandani | Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2020 12:00 PM IST

While the health of BCCI’s balance-sheet hinges greatly on IPL, Covid-19 has begun to eat into India’s equally lucrative bilateral calendar. At its apex council meet on Friday, BCCI will look to reshape its engagements that are part of the Future Tours Program (FTP).

BCCI on its website has already announced a refund of around R33 crore to various stakeholders, including broadcasters and sponsors, for the two ODIs against South Africa that were postponed in March. It will look for an alternative window for the South Africa ODIs as well as the six-match limited-overs series against England in September that will be postponed.

The revenue from these eight matches for BCCI come to approximately R575 crore, going by the average per match broadcast and other sponsorships. A major chunk of the revenue comes from Star India’s broadcast rights—R480 crore (R60 crore per match). Jersey rights (Byjus), title rights (Paytm), kit sponsorship (Nike) as well as other official partners (Dream11, Ambuja Cement and Hyundai) complete BCCI’s revenue sources for international cricket at home.

“The limited-overs matches against England may be clubbed with the Test series, when they are scheduled to return in February,” a BCCI official said. But with India and England slated to play a five-Test series, the tour could get too long and the Tests may have to be reduced.

BCCI will continue to look for a window so that IPL, its postponed R4,000 crore-a-year property, can be staged this year. It will be a key issue in the 11-point agenda for the apex council meeting.

The board is planning a late September-early October start for IPL, if it can hold the league.

“All options need to be explored. The first option is India but you don’t know how the situation will be. There is UAE and Sri Lanka, but taking out IPL will increase the overheads. I think the president (Sourav Ganguly) also recently said that,” PTI quoted a senior BCCI official, who did not wish to be named.

“I don’t think we are still in a position to fix venues in a situation which is so fluid. But the plans and the tentative window need to be ready so that once ICC makes a formal announcement of T20 World Cup (scheduled in Australia for October-November) cancellation next week, we can proceed.”

The ICC Board meets on Monday.

BCCI is the world’s richest cricket board because sponsors contribute handsomely even when the team tours. India’s away programme has been badly hit by the virus with three white-ball matches against Zimbabwe, six against Sri Lanka, and the Asia Cup (3 India league matches) already postponed.

BCCI was also in talks with South Africa to tour for a 3-match T20 series in August. The 3 T20s scheduled against Australia in October may now be clubbed with the full India tour in December-January. “With the T20 World Cup set to be postponed, there is no point in travelling to Australia for a three-match T20 series,” the official said.

But for the virus disruption, Virat Kohli’s men would be busy hopping continents now; these 18 away matches would have added another R90 crore in jersey and kit sponsorship contracts that remain active even when India tour.

For everything else, there will be forward planning—provided the pandemic allows.

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