Mumbai Indians won the IPL 2019
Scrapping the money-spinning Indian Premier League (IPL) this year because of the Coronavirus pandemic would cost more than half a billion dollars but cutting players’ pay was not yet being considered a top official told AFP yesterday.
The world’s richest Twenty20 Tournament is staring at a first wipeout in its 12-year history after the original March 29 start date was postponed repeatedly.
Cancellation of the IPL for 2020 would mean a huge financial hit.
“The BCCI is looking at a big revenue loss. In case the IPL does not take place, the loss would be close to 40 billion rupees (US $530 million), or even more,” said Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India Treasurer Arun Dhumal.
India, like other cricket nations, is anxious to see a return to competitive international sport but has to follow government orders and advice.
“We are not sure whether we will be able to have it this year,” he admitted.
A one-day international series against South Africa in March has already been cancelled but it is the IPL, which began in 2008, that generates the bulk of BCCI revenue and is thought to be worth more than US $11 billion a year to the Indian economy.
“We will only be able to figure out the exact revenue loss once we are sure of how many games we have lost,” said Dhumal. The IPL brand value was estimated at US $6.7 billion last year by the Duff and Phelps financial consultancy.
Indian broadcaster Star Sports paid more than US $220 million for five years of TV rights up to 2022. But it was reportedly targeting US $400 million of revenue in 2020 alone.
Gripped by an international lockdown, many National boards have been forced into
But Dhumal, who joined the BCCI leadership last year alongside President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah, said that it was hoped to avoid pay cuts for players.
“That would be the last thing that we would want to do at our end,”
“That is why we are working (on) how much is the loss finally we
have to pay.”
“So once we are able to assess that then we might consider it but it will be the last thing on our agenda.”