India-China standoff | Vivo not to be title sponsor of IPL-2020

Agencies
August 6, 2020

New Delhi, Aug 6: The BCCI on Thursday suspended the IPL title sponsorship deal with Chinese mobile phone company Vivo for the event's upcoming edition amid heightened tensions in Sino-India diplomatic ties.

The BCCI sent out a one-line statement, without giving details, saying that Vivo would not be associated with the IPL this year. "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and vivo Mobile India Pvt Ltd have decided to suspend their partnership for Indian Premier League in 2020," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Vivo released its own statement saying that the two entities "have mutually decided to pause their partnership for the 2020 season".

Vivo won the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years from 2018 to 2022 for a reported sum of Rs 2,190 crore, approximately Rs 440 crore per annum.

The two parties are now working out a plan in which Vivo might come back for a fresh three-year period starting 2021 on revised terms.

However, a top BCCI official offered a different view. "Here we are talking about diplomatic tensions and you expect that after November, when IPL ends and before the next IPL starts in April 2021, there would be no anti-China sentiment? Are we serious?" a veteran BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.

The anti-China sentiment in the country peaked after the violent face-off between the Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh. India lost 20 soldiers in the clash, while China also acknowledged unspecified casualties.

The stand-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) caused outrage across India with several calls for boycotts of Chinese companies and products.

The BCCI is now likely to float a tender for new IPL title sponsors as mandated by its constitution. The glitzy T20 league starts on Sept. 19 in the UAE, forced out of India due to the rising COVID-19 cases.

The new development is in stark contrast to what came out of Sunday's IPL's Governing Council meeting, where it was decided that Vivo, along with all the other sponsors, will remain on board.

This was after the BCCI had announced in June that all sponsorship deals pertaining to IPL will be reviewed in the aftermath of the clash in the Galwan Valley.

However, after Sunday's meeting, there was a huge backlash on social media about the BCCI holding on to Vivo.

Both parties then began thrashing out an amicable separation plan, at least for this season.

However, the end of this deal could spell losses for the franchises as they get a substantial share from the sponsorship pool. Half of the annual Vivo sponsorship money is distributed equally among eight franchises, which comes to Rs 27.5 crore.

"As of now, it will be very difficult for the BCCI to match the sponsorship amount at such short notice. Therefore, both BCCI and the franchises should be prepared to lose out on some money -- BCCI more but each franchise from Vivo's exit will potentially lose 15 crore," the official said.

"This year will be difficult for everyone but the show must go on," the official said.

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News Network
September 20,2020

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Prolific Australia opener David Warner wants to see "at least 25 per cent crowds" inside the stadiums when they host Virat Kohli's India in a high-profile tour later this year. Warner said he was looking forward to the big-ticket assignment against one of their biggest rivals. "Well, I am looking forward to the tour which will be a great battle between two very highly competitive teams. And, I hope at least 25 per cent crowds will be allowed as was the case with some football matches. That will be fantastic," Warner said during a virtual media interaction.

Earlier this week, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said his government is negotiating with Cricket Australia and Tennis Australia to have crowd attendance for the city's iconic sports events -- Boxing Day Test and the Australian Open.

Warner is currently bracing up to lead SunRisers Hyderabad in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE.

Talking about the challenges of playing the IPL in a bio-secure bubble and without crowd, he acknowledged that it is a very different and difficult job.

The ongoing IPL is being played under strict health safety guidelines and protocols, with players and support staff set to be tested every five days throughout the tournament.

"It is difficult for some to be away from their families for such a long time. But, I do believe once the event starts, the players will be more focussed on the game. I think the BCCI and the hosts here have done a fantastic job to get the IPL going.

"All the players have to do is to be smart, look after their mental aspect well by doing small things to be fresh for any challenges," said Warner, one of the tournament's leading scorers in recent years.

"You play the game as the rest of things are being taken care off in these testing times during the pandemic. With no crowds at the ground which any team would miss, everyone will stay in a competitive frame of mind once the event gets along."

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Agencies
September 19,2020

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Mumbai, Sept 19: Ahead of the much-anticipated clash against Chennai Super Kings in the opening game of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be played on Saturday evening at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma has said that he enjoys playing against the MS Dhoni-led side but is never "overawed" by them.

The two most successful teams in the IPL have faced each other 28 times with MI holding an edge over CSK as they have won 17 games and lost 11.

"Playing against CSK is always fun, we enjoy that battle. But when we play the game, it is just another opposition for us and that is how we want to move forward and not get overawed by the opposition," Rohit said in a video posted by Mumbai Indians on their official Twitter handle.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya feels it is a clash between the two most loved teams of the tournament.

"It has become a game which people look forward to. MI and CSK are the two franchises that are most loved by the fans and that's how it (clash) has become special," said Hardik.

"I don't now, we all will get our A-game out when we are playing against CSK and I wish we always do that," he added.

In their last meeting in the 2019 IPL final, Mumbai Indians had won the match by one run to clinch the title for a record fourth time.

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Agencies
September 27,2020

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Abu Dhabi, Sept 27: Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) middle-order batsman Eoin Morgan has said that Shubman Gill is very pleasing to watch on the eye and the opening batsman deserves all the success.

His remark came as KKR defeated SunRisers Hyderabad by seven wickets at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Dinesh Karthik-led side chased down a total of 143 with 12 balls to spare. For KKR, Gill and Eoin Morgan remained unbeaten on 70 and 42 respectively.

Both Morgan and Gill got together at the crease when KKR was at 53/3, but the duo formed an unbeaten stand of 92 runs to take the side over the line by seven wickets.

"Nice feeling to get a win under our belt. It's a long tournament, but obviously, this win helps us get some momentum and confidence going. We were a bit rusty in our last game against MI, but we won this match with our bowlers, they did a great job restricting a very strong Sunrisers batting line-up. 
The wickets of Bairstow and Warner at the top put us in a good position. They put them on the back-foot and we knew we didn't have to put ourselves under pressure in the chase," Morgan told host broadcaster Star Sports after the match.

"I didn't have to tell him (Gill) a great deal, to be honest, he's beautiful to watch on the eye, good bat swing, very languid style, magnificent to watch, he's good kid, very hungry to learn and I would love to bat with him once again. I think he deserves all the success. The pitches have been a bit different, you can't be fixated by one pitch, but with the nature of the heat, it should change considerably as the tournament wears on. You should take each game as it comes and try to adapt, stick to your game plan, and hopefully, it works," he added.

KKR restricted SunRisers to just 142/4 in the allotted twenty overs as all the bowlers displayed clinical performances. Pat Cummins was the standout bowler as he ended with figures of 1-19 from his quota of four overs and he also managed to bag the wicket of Jonny Bairstow.

Cummins had a poor performance against Mumbai Indians as he conceded more than 50 runs in his four overs, but he was able to bounce back against Hyderabad.

Speaking about Cummins, Gill said: "He is a world-class bowler, he is probably one of the best bowlers in the world, one odd day doesn't matter to us, he is a world-class bowler and he bowled really well against SunRisers Hyderabad."

KKR has so far played two matches in this year's IPL and the side has won one match. The Dinesh Karthik-led side will next lock horns with Rajasthan Royals on September 30.

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