Indian Premier League is suspended indefinitely this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic which would cost more than half a billion dollars, but cutting players’ pay was not yet being considered, a top official has told AFP.
This is the first time IPL has been suspended since its first original March 29 start date was postponed repeatedly. Cancellation of the IPL for 2020 would mean a huge financial hit. “The BCCI is looking at a big revenue loss. In case the IPL does not take place, the loss would be close to 40 billion rupees ($530 million), or even more,” said Board of Control for Cricket in India treasurer Arun Dhumal
“We are not sure whether we will be able to have it this year,” he added
A one-day international series against South Africa in March has already been cancelled, whereas IPL made 11.5 billion dollar difference to the Indian economy this year.
“We will only be able to figure out the exact revenue loss once we are sure of how many games we have lost,” said Dhumal.
The brand value of IPL was estimated at $6.7 billion last year by the Duff and Phelps financial consultancy.
Indian broadcaster Star Sports paid more than $220 million for five years of TV rights up to 2022. But it was reportedly targeting $400 million of revenue in 2020
But Dhumal, who joined the BCCI leadership last year alongside president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, said that it was hoped to avoid pay cuts for players.
“That would be the last thing that we would want to do at our end,” said Dhumal. we are working on how much loss finally we have to bear and are we able to assess that then we might consider it, but it will be the last thing on our agenda.”
Dhumal said India’s tour of Sri Lanka, scheduled to begin in June, would only go ahead if the pandemic ease.