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Star to give Team India sponsorship bid a miss

Team India new jersey
Team India new jersey. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is going through a tumultuous condition off late. The entire board was reshuffled after orders from Supreme Court and then most of the other member boards of ICC voted in favour of revenue sharing models which would impact the BCCI in the long run. With all these turmoils doing rounds, India’s official sponsor currently, Star has revealed that they won’t bid for certain rights in future including having their name on the team jerseys.

“Given all the volatility, we are indeed concerned about the health of cricket in the days ahead,” Star India chairman and CEO Uday Shankar was quoted as saying by Times of India during an exclusive interview. “No one seems to be talking about making cricket bigger and more popular. We have been very proud that our name is carried on the jersey of Team India. But given all the uncertainties, we have decided not to bid for it again. The commitments being asked for are too onerous without any clarity.”

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Star came into the fray in 2013 after winning the bid for being the official sponsor of Team India for a four years period. According to the current contract Star apparently, pays Rs. 19.2 million per match for bilateral series and Rs. 6.1 million per game for ICC tournaments. Star India has their logo on men and women’s jerseys and also holds the broadcast rights including the internet and mobile rights till March 2018.

Shankar conceded that their main concern is that there is no “consensual leadership” in cricket at the moment. “The power of cricket came from the fact that everybody was aligned. The global cricket leadership was generally aligned to drive it forward. The alignment seems to have broken down.

Also read: The wicket in Pune was a shocker: Kim Hughes

Lack of clarity, ­both in ICC as well as BCCI, is our biggest concern right now. We have nothing to do with the politics of cricket. Currently, we have invested in cricket more than any other media company has ever done. Our investments in the game are to the tune of a few billion dollars. And hence the business risk for us is very very high,” he was quoted as saying by TOI.

He was reluctant to share the details of the proposed revenue sharing model. “The percentage share of revenue that India generates is very high, but the percentage share of viewership that India generates is even higher,” he said. “And our take here is that nothing should be done to weaken or demotivate that enthusiasm. The consequences of that will be devastating.”

Star India will continue to honour its current contract with BCCI and ICC. “We are totally committed to those contracts and we will continue to honour them. However, given all the volatility in the cricket world, we will have to be very careful before making any further commitments,” Shankar concluded.

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