Abhijit Chowdhury
India over the years has become a driving force in world cricket. So much so that, many around the world accused ICC of facilitating BCCI to have a window to organize the IPL. But most cricket lovers in India are not worried about such accusations, one would think. As IPL during this period, where going out is not a great option due to the pandemic, is going to provide much-needed entertainment doses? But is that so? Twitteratis lashes out at BCCI and is unhappy with IPL going ahead, and that has nothing to do with Coronavirus, but sponsorship. 

A country where cricket is a religion, IPL has become a reason for grand celebration over the past decade. There is hardly any person in India in this last decade or so who did not watch IPL. With that kind of reach, you expect the sponsor of the tournament to pay big. And so did Vivo. 

Vivo became the title sponsor for the Indian mega sports event in 2016 after replacing beverage giant Pepsi by outbidding them. And then they retained the sponsorship in 2019 for the next five seasons by agreeing to a whopping Rs 2199 cr. The next highest bid was Rs 1,432 crore by Oppo, which then held the Team India sponsorship rights. And incidentally, Both Vivo and Oppo are parts of the same parent group. And they made sure that the market remains in their hand. 

And with all of the business numbers hovering around, BCCI had to decide to let go of a profitable deal. And it was because of the sentiment of the nation, which was woven after the incident of 15th June in Galwan Valley. Where 20 of our brave soldiers lost their lives after a face-off with Chinese PLA. After that incident as the political scene started spinning, it somehow became like the 1999 World Cup, where India played Pakistan while the Kargil war was on. But that case was different from the present scenario. India is not scheduled to play with China, but they are partners in a business deal at a time when there is an outcry to ban Chinese products all over the nation.

After much deliberation and dates getting pushed further and further due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Premier League Governing Council officially confirmed on Sunday that the tournament is due to take place in UAE between September 19 and November 10.

But this announcement did not cheer up the Indians as the board has decided to retain all its sponsors, including Chinese mobile company Vivo. This did not go well with the cricket fans. As the news of retention of Chinese sponsors broke on social media, #BoycottIPL started trending on Twitter.

Cricket fans started asking questions such as whether or not Indians would watch a tournament with a Chinese company being title sponsor, the country which killed our soldiers not long back. There was also outrage among fans bashing BCCI for being greedy. One such fan even asked for the IPL to be boycotted. Many termed BCCI and IPL as anti-national. Their questions in a way might seem legit. But then comes the question of legality. 

The mobile apps that were banned were done based on the fact that they might be harmful to national security. But if the BCCI is to part ways with Vivo then that would be a breach of contract for which they will have to pay heavily. But that logic is not something that the outrageous fans are concerned with right now.

Fans asking questions such as, When The whole country calls for #BoycottChina but the IPL governing council cares more for the money; what do the Indians do? The fact that BCCI’s secretary’s post is being dawned by Jay Shah, son of present Central Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah, is also dragged in this. And cricket is again being dragged in the mud of politics. And the outrage of fans is bringing out comments such as Soldiers die on borders but these people only care for money. Or, Shame on you BCCI.

Here are a few tweets that went viral:

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