Shortened or full-scale? At residence or overseas? The questions are many for IPL franchisees determined for a decisive assertion from the BCCI on the destiny of the league which, they consider, will get unprecedented TV viewership if it occurs. With Cricket Australia repeatedly stressing on the “unrealistic” problem of internet hosting the 16-team T20 World Cup in October-November, the probability of getting the IPL has elevated considerably in a yr thrown haywire by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Considering the current situation, there are too many complications in hosting the T20 World Cup with 16 teams. Organising the IPL won’t be easy too. It has to be at a place which has adequate infrastructure, both on and off the field,” Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia instructed PTI.
The ICC lately pushed its closing resolution on the T20 World Cup to subsequent month however the BCCI has already zeroed in on the September-October window for the match.
Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore, throughout a media occasion final week, spoke of his opposition to any “tinkering’ with the format of the league but not all IPL stakeholders agree. Considering the situation around the pandemic, they are fine with a curtailed edition even though Mysore said he spoke for all the eight teams. The BCCI, on its part, has only asserted its intent to conduct the event so far but specifics are still not known.
“I’m certain BCCI is placing all its efforts in direction of a full IPL however we’ve got no points even with a curtailed one. We have to pay attention to the scenario we’re in and optimise ourselves,” Wadia said.
“IPL has additionally been a really ahead trying and versatile match and that needs to be maintained throughout the COVID scenario. Going again to 2009, inside one month we switched from India to South Africa,” he added.
With COVID-19 cases rising in India, staging the IPL overseas is very much an option. The UAE, which partially hosted the tournament in 2014, and Sri Lanka, have already shown interest in hosting the event. New Zealand, among the least affected countries from coronavirus, is also an option though the huge time difference goes against it.
Wadia said location and duration of the tournament can be easily decided mutually by all stakeholders.
“We would wish enough variety of resorts in that place, in order that we’re capable of quarantine gamers if wanted. Whether in India or overseas, there needs to be sufficient infrastructure,” he explained.
A top official of another leading IPL team, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, would not like to see a shortened tournament and wants the BCCI to announce the dates at the earliest so that it gives enough time to the potential team sponsors.
“I do not perceive what the BCCI is ready for. They ought to have introduced the dates by now. Whether August-September or September-October (if the World Cup does not occur).
“Talk to the UAE board and go ahead. They can even consider Bahrain and Muscat and expand the league’s presence further. “ICC delaying the choice has left it in a dilemma and in addition the BCCI,” the official said.
One thing is certain that the tournament, if it happens, will be played behind closed doors. With the world going through the financial crisis caused by the pandemic, there are doubts if teams can continue to attract sponsors like they have been able to over the past decade. Though teams’ major source of revenue comes from BCCI’s central pool, another contributor is their individual sponsorship.
Wadia is expecting an increase in viewership and that is why he feels attracting sponsors would not be an issue.
“If it’s a shorter match then robotically it could rely upon the variety of video games. If there are the standard 14 league video games, you might be getting an X worth from a sponsor, it would change if there are lesser variety of video games,” he explained.
“Having stated that, numerous sponsors is perhaps glad to see the IPL occurring even whether it is shorter. It provides them numerous publicity. In my humble opinion, the IPL would possibly occur with a bigger viewers base purely based mostly on the evaluation that world has been via a lot and the world wants that outlet,” he added.
Wadia did not see sponsors shying away from the curtailed IPL.
“…I do not see any problem in attracting sponsors. Today there are too many variables however tomorrow if the IPL dates are introduced, I do not see why sponsors will not come ahead, given the viewership would possibly improve,” said Wadia. However, a source close to Chennai Super Kings said the COVID-19 impact on sponsorship can only be gauged closer to the tournament.
“It will have an effect absolutely, how a lot? I’m not too certain. In a technique, TV will probably be an incredible commercial for sponsors. Basically, it’s a query of cash out there with them at the moment. It shouldn’t be the standard situation,” he opined.
“Sponsors will come to the groups solely after the IPL dates are introduced,” said the CSK source. Another team official said the “IPL model” has an opportunity to become even bigger.
“Individual sponsorship is hardly the principle a part of our revenues, the principle income comes from the the BCCI’s central pool.
“Keeping that issue aside, this is the best opportunity for brand IPL. You have an IPL in September-October, then the auction in December-January and then IPL again in April-May. Eight months you will be talking IPL,” he stated.
“The BCCI is not seeing that. India is not going to be safe before November, better to take the call now and do it elsewhere,” the official added.
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