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BCCI issues commitment to continuation of Vivo title sponsorship

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI) has moved to reiterate its commitment to its association with Chinese mobile phone brand Vivo, amid rising political tension between India and China.

The company is the title sponsor of Twenty20 franchise tournament, the IPL. The five-year deal was signed in 2017 and was worth $227m (€203m) over the course of the contract.

BCCI treasurer, Arun Dhumal, told Indian news agency PTI: ”When you talk emotionally, you tend to leave the rationale behind. We have to understand the difference between supporting a Chinese company for a Chinese cause or taking help from Chinese company to support India’s cause,”

“When we are allowing Chinese companies to sell their products in India, whatever money they are taking from Indian consumer, they are paying part of it to the BCCI (as brand promotion) and the board is paying 42-per-cent tax on that money to the Indian government. So, that is supporting India’s cause and not China’s.

“If that Chinese money is coming to support Indian cricket, we should be okay with it. I am all for banning Chinese products as an individual, we are there to support our government but by getting sponsorship from Chinese company, we are helping India’s cause.”

The 2020 IPL was due to begin in April, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. According to the Mumbai Mirror, the board is looking to reschedule events between September and November, should the World Twenty20 tournament, which is scheduled to take place between October 18-November 15 in Australia, still go ahead as planned.