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IPL 2020 latest news: BCCI says IPL a ‘possibility’ but franchisees, sponsors seek clarity | Cricket News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly got the cricket world excited when he sent a letter to the state associations on Wednesday night, saying the board is seriously contemplating staging the Indian Premier League (IPL) later this year, ‘even if it happens in empty stadiums.’, in spite of the International Cricket Council (ICC) taking its time to decide the fate of the ICC T20 World Cup in October.
BCCI’s planning has been affected by the indecision over the T20 World Cup. BCCI was banking on the ICC meeting on Wednesday to chart a clear course. The Indian board wants to fix a window for its home season, starting with the IPL, and is targeting the months of Sept-Oct. Besides the idea of holding the event overseas, there are also suggestions that the tournament could be limited to two or three cities to cut down on travel.
But Ganguly also talked about the stakeholders – mainly franchisees, sponsors and broadcasters – who are very keen to have the event this year even as the number of Covid-19 infections are rising exponentially in the country. One needs to look into their side of the story.
Franchisees need time
There are obvious hurdles to staging the IPL, starting with the time needed for franchisees to sort out their logistics. “The franchisees have not been told anything by BCCI yet. We will need at least 45 days to get everything in order,” a senior franchise official said. “The teams will come up with their own SOPs, creating a bio-secure environment for training. They need to arrange transportation for players and give them enough time to settle in, besides the mandatory quarantine period. And they have to close deals with sponsors as well.”
According to the ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP), there is an Asia Cup slated for September, though it is learnt the BCCI has indicated to franchisees the tournament won’t go ahead. “It doesn’t make sense to have two 14-day quarantines on either side of a 12-day tournament but everything is subject to players’ safety,” a senior BCCI official told TOI.
Empty stadiums prompt tweaked sponsorship deals and cost-cutting
If the tournament does go ahead, the franchisees are likely to earn up to 60-70% of their anticipated annual revenue. “A year without an IPL won’t mean the franchises will shut down, but it will help them to sustain their core team besides the players,” a franchise official said.
However, according to some franchise officials, the clauses in the contracts will change with matches being played in empty stadiums, since there are many sponsors who are keen on in-stadia deals. “There are meet-and-greet events, pitch-side jigs and many more things. The sponsors will slash their prices accordingly. We have to know if it’s a two-city tournament or an overseas one. That helps in striking deals,” an official said. “For example, if they are playing all the matches in cities in the southern part of India, then different types of sponsors could be targeted. Then if the tournament is held at the onset of winter or end of autumn, lots of beverage companies won’t be interested. There are a lot of factors and that’s why I need clarity sooner,” the official explained.
Franchises are also hoping that empty stadiums will help them cut down on 30% of their expense on match days, since they will not have to arrange for catering, security and match-duty personnel.
Truncated IPL an option?
KKR CEO Venky Mysore has stated that he would not like a truncated IPL, but a few franchisees and broadcasters are not averse to the idea. “Most franchisees are fine with a truncated IPL as it will also help them to limit damages,” a source said. “The choice is between truncated and no IPL. The broadcasters are fine with it. They need a total 40-day window. After yesterday’s ICC meeting, India are certain to host the T20 WC in 2021,” the source added. If the BCCI does manage to get the window for the IPL, it could mean that the ICC would have to move this year’s ICC T20 World Cup to 2022. “In this scenario, it would obviously mean that this T20 WC has to be moved to 2022. Otherwise there will be fatigue of T20 cricket if the T20 WC happens in another 2-3 months after the IPL. And the broadcasters wouldn’t like it,” the source claimed.

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