Vivo, the Chinese mobile manufacturer, has reportedly pulled out as the title sponsor of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) from this year following which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced Tata, an Indian multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai, as the replacement.
The development came during the IPL’s governing council meeting on Tuesday.
Following the governing council meeting, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that the Tata Group, one of India’s largest business conglomerates has come on board.
“Vivo has exited and the Tatas will be title sponsors,” Patel was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
Notably, Vivo has a couple of years left in its sponsorship deal with the cash-rich league and during this period, Tata will remain the main sponsor.
However, either the IPL GC or the BCCI hasn’t made any official announcement in this regard.
The chinese mobile manufacturer had signed a deal of Rs 2200 crore for title sponsorship rights between 2018-2022 however, the agreement was paused for a year in 2020 in the backdrop of the Galwan Valley military face-off between the Indian and Chinese Army soldiers. In 2020, the rights were transferred to fantasy gaming platform Dream 11.
Later, Vivo was back as the league’s title sponsor in 2021 and the original five-year deal got extended till 2023 due to the one-year break.
After the IPL’s GC decision, the Tata Group will step in and remain the title sponsor for the 2022 and 2023 seasons of the lucrative league.
Meanwhile, the two new franchises of the IPL – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – will receive the formal clearance from the IPL GC.
“The two teams have been cleared and we will issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) after tomorrow’s GC meeting. The teams are through by all practical purposes,” IPL chairman Brijesh Patel was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz on Monday.
Earlier in October last year, the Sanjeev Goenka-owned RPSG group and international investment firm – CVC Capital had bagged the ownership rights of the two new franchises of the IPL for Rs 7090 crores and 5625 crores respectively.
However, CVC Sports acquisition of the Ahmedabad franchise in the league had come under scanner following its association with the Milan-based betting company.
Significantly, CVC’s acquisition of the Ahmedabad franchise had raised many questions following which there has been a delay from the Indian board in handing the Letter of Intent to CVC.
CVC, an American firm, has been trying its best to explain to the Indian board that their investment in a UK betting firm is not illegal.
As per reports, the CVC had later tried to convince the BCCI that its investment in betting firm, which has become a bone of contention, is not illegal and moreover, few top CVC officials had flown to India to have talks with the BCCI office-bearers.
After CVC had acquired one of the two franchise, former IPL chairman Lalit Modi ruffled a few feathers by drawing attention to the companies association with the Milan-based betting company Sisal. “I guess betting companies can buy an IPL team. must be a new rule. apparently, one qualified bidder also owns a big betting company. what next? does BCCI not do their homework? what can Anti-corruption do in such a case? #cricket,” Modi had tweetd.
Later, the Indian board reportedly discussed the CVC Sports matter to the Solicitor General of India – Tushar Mehta – who represents the board in matters not involving the Government of India and reports suggested that the initial recommendation from Solicitor General was believed to be positive.
The IPL 2022, which will now be a ten-team affair following the addition of the two new teams, is most likely to begin on April 2 in Chennai.
Although the fixtures of the upcoming season have not been finalised yet however, the board had internally conveyed to the key stakeholders that the board is planning to start the 16th edition of the lucrative league on April 2 in Chennai.
As the next season will have a total of 74 games, the BCCI has discussed internally that the length of the season will be for over 60 days. As a result, the final could be played in the first weekend of June.