The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) will not give any kind of contracts to Chinese companies, cricket board treasurer Arun Dhumal said earlier today. Currently, Chinese communications company, Vivo is the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Li-Ning is the current apparel sponsor for the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Both organisations are open to terminating the contracts of these companies in the future, but for now, no termination of contracts has been processed.
Dhumal’s statements come in the background of anti-China sentiments running high in India following a border clash between the two countries at Galwan valley earlier this week. The first skirmish at the India-China border in more than four decades left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.
Since then, calls have been made to boycott Chinese products in the country. But Dhumal said Chinese companies sponsoring an Indian event like the IPL only serve the country’s interests. The BCCI gets Rs 440 crore annually from Vivo and the five-year deal ends in 2022.
Also Read | Indian Cricket Team ‘Caps’ Irony With Nike-Made Valour
“In the future, we will not give any contract to Chinese companies to build our (BCCI) infrastructure,” Dhumal said. “We have to understand the difference between supporting Chinese companies and supporting the Chinese cause. We are taking money from a Chinese company, it’s not that we are giving money to a Chinese company.”
Vivo currently holds a five-year deal with IPL as their title sponsor. The Rs 2,199 crore deal was signed in 2018. Dhumal explained that, “42 per cent of the money goes to the Government of India as taxes. So in a way, we are helping the Indian cause. That money is being retained here and it is helping Indian cricket and part of the money that goes to the Government of India.”
“They (Chinese companies) sell their phones and collect money from Indian consumers, and if I don’t take that money, it will flow back to China. So, one needs to understand that,” he added.
The BCCI is yet to discuss the sponsorship issue with Vivo, but they are not going to hesitate in terminating the contract if there's government advice or order with regards to dissociating with Chinese companies.
“There’s no two ways about it, in case the government decides to ban Chinese products and companies, we (BCCI) will be happy to follow that,” Dhumal said. He also said the BCCI would ‘keep public sentiment in mind’ in the future when the contract cycle ends. And the BCCI treasurer fully supports the public sentiment. “As an Indian, I’m all for it to teach them (China) a lesson and hit them at places where it hurts them very badly. Be it economic or not buying their products…”
Also Read | How Many Times Will India Deny Apartheid?
Meanwhile, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said they will not hesitate in cutting ties with Li-Ning if there is a need. However, a decision in this matter will only be taken by the executive committee.
“We will see how the current scenario evolves. If we reach a point where it becomes a matter of the country’s pride, then I am confident the IOA executive board will choose the country ahead of the sponsors,” Mehta said.
“We have an existing contract with a Chinese firm for the Indian contingent’s kit. That deal is till the Tokyo Olympics. Right now, we are not reconsidering any deal but if the situation changes, we will take a call over what needs to be done,” he added.
Read more sports stories from Newsclick