Chinese Vivo gets IPL cake

The Indian Premier League's Governing Council on Sunday decided to retain all its sponsors, including Chinese mobile company VIVO. The Chinese sponsorship became a bone of contention after the violent clashes in eastern Ladakh in June. The BCCI was expected to relook at the matter in view of the change in the dynamics of the relations between the two countries.

"All I can say is that all our sponsors are with us. Hopefully you can read between the lines," an IPL GC member told PTI on condition of anonymity after Sunday's meeting.

As IPL title sponsor, VIVO will pay 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 environment.

THREE VENUES: The tournament will be played from September 19 to November 10 at three venues in the UAE -- Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi -- subject to government approval, which is expected in the next couple of days.

"The 53-day tournament will witness 10-afternoon matches starting at 15:30 IST while the evening matches will start at 19:30 IST," stated a release from the BCCI.

"The Standard Operating Procedure is still being drafted but there would be any number of COVID replacements this year," a BCCI official indicated.

WOMAN’S IPL: In another major decision, the GC also approved the women's IPL, a development first reported by PTI after speaking to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday.

Forced out of India due to the rising coronavirus case count, the IPL will allow unlimited COVID-19 replacements, considering the delicate health situation across the globe.

"The final will be played on November 10 -- the week Diwali is celebrated -- making it lucrative for the broadcasters," the GC member said.

It is expected that the squad strength in terms of playing members will be 24 for the eight franchises.

"Also the BCCI has received presentations from a Dubai based group on creating a medical facility in the UAE. The BCCI is also in talks with the Tata Group for creating a bio-bubble," the official said.

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