According to BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, a total wipe out of the 13th edition of the IPL would incurr a huge financial loss for the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
“The BCCI is looking at a big revenue loss. In case the IPL does not take place, the loss would be close to Rs. 40 billion ($530 million), or even more,” said Dhumal.
According to another top official from the BCCI as reported by the Agence France-Presse, although scrapping the highly lucrative Indian Premier League this year because of the coronavirus pandemic would cost more than half a billion dollars, cutting players’ pay was not yet being considered.
Dhumal, who joined the BCCI leadership last year alongside president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, also said that it was hoped to avoid pay cuts for players. He was quoted as saying, “That would be the last thing that we would want to do at our end. That is why we are working how much is the loss finally we have to pay. So once we are able to assess that then we might consider it, but it will be the last thing on our agenda.”
India, like other cricket nations, is anxious to see a return to competitive international sport, but has to follow government orders and advice.
“We are not sure whether we will be able to have it 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 IPL brand value 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 alone.
Dhumal said India’s tour of Sri Lanka, scheduled to begin in June, would only go ahead if the pandemic eases.
“The safety and health of our cricketers is paramount and any shred of doubt, we will not shy away from calling it off.”
Doubts remain over the Twenty20 World Cup beginning in October in Australia and India’s tour consisting of 4 Tests and 3 ODIs afterwards. Dhumal has stated that Indian players would be ready to go into a 2 week quarantine before the tour. But he told AFP this would only apply if the World Cup were cancelled. He said, “In case we are already there for the T20 World Cup then there is no question of quarantine because we will already have been there for a month or so. Cricket Australia are also not in a position to come up with something concrete. A lot will depend on the government and the travel bans in place. Let’s see how they go about it.”