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IPL franchise expresses revenue concern over potential South Africa move

Delhi Daredevils ownership group GMR Sports has warned Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises stand to lose around 40 per cent of their annual revenues if the Twenty20 cricket tournament is moved outside India, while Cricket South Africa has maintained it is yet to be contacted over potentially hosting the event.

IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal last week admitted that the 2014 edition of the competition could return to South Africa amid security concerns arising from a clash with India’s general election. Biswal said IPL officials are keen for the 2014 tournament, or the majority of its games, to remain in India. However, the general election is scheduled to be held in April-May, potentially providing additional strain on security resources with the IPL schedule, which is yet to be officially determined, operating within a window of April 9 to June 3.

Hemant Dua, chief executive of GMR Sports, which owns the Delhi Daredevils team, told the Economic Times newspaper: “In case 50 per cent of the matches are held outside India the impact of revenue on Delhi Daredevils will be in the range of 40 per cent of the overall revenues. This is because gate receipts contribute a large chunk of our revenues. Sponsorships too will be impacted as some sponsors may shy away from signing due to the movement.”

Biswal said IPL organisers will meet home ministry officials in the coming days to gain clarity on the security situation and only then will decide on the venue. “But there is a chance that IPL goes outside India and that would mean some loss to the teams,” he admitted. Biswal, however, hinted at granting compensation for the teams if the tournament is moved. “We will give them a good package,” he added.

South Africa has experience of hosting the IPL after the 2009 tournament was moved to the country, also because of security concerns arising from a general election that year. Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Chris Nenzani said that while the country would be ready to host the tournament, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has yet to make contact over a potential switch.

Nenzani told the Bangalore Mirror newspaper: “We are not waiting in the wings. But we would be, for sure, happy to host the league. We have done it in 2009 with grand success and the Board of Control for Cricket in India is very well aware of our capabilities.” He added: “We've only read in the media that there is a possibility of the IPL coming here. Let the BCCI take the decision.”