The BCCI on Sunday decided to retain its Chinese sponsors including the VIVO, the title sponsor of the cash-rich IPL which will get underway from September 19 in the UAE. There were calls IPL to severe ties with the Chinese companies in wake of the death of Indian soldiers following a clash with their Chinese counterparts in June this year.

The violent clashes in eastern Ladakh resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers resulting in a countrywide outrage. The BCCI, on its part, had said it will review its sponsorship deals.

All I can say is that all our sponsors are with us. Hopefully you can read between the lines,” an IPL Governing Council member told PTI on conditions of anonymity after Sunday’s meeting.

However, the development did not go down well with fans who took vented their ire on Twitter as Boycott IPL became one of the top trends on the micro-blogging website.

Even former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah commented on the issue. “Chinese cellphone makers will continue as title sponsors of the IPL while people are told to boycott Chinese products. It’s no wonder China is thumbing it’s nose at us when we are so confused about how to handle Chinese money/investment/sponsorship/advertising,” Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

 

As IPL title sponsor, VIVO pays around Rs 440 crore per year, a five-year deal that ends in 2022. It would have been difficult for the Board to get new sponsors at a short notice given the current financially difficult climate.