20 January, 2021

Indian Cricket And Its Many Chinese Connections -- Why BCCI Is On A Difficult Pitch

At least two top BCCI officials have BJP links. It remains to be seen if patriotism overtakes financial interest for the world's richest cricket association

Indian Cricket And Its Many Chinese Connections -- Why BCCI Is On A Difficult Pitch

Cricket,  yes, even lovely cricket, our opiate of choice, is entwined with the Middle Kingdom. The game could be the single biggest sufferer if the ‘anti-Chinese’ mood takes hold of the Indian sports ecosystem. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, among the richest sports associations in the world, has strong links--direct and indirect--with Chinese brands or investors.

The Indian Premier League, one of the top five sports properties in the world in terms of global broadcast rights valuation, has multiple links with Chinese brands. While mobile company Vivo has a five-year IPL title sponsorship deal worth Rs 2,200 crore with the BCCI, online fantasy league platform Dream 11 and e-commerce company Paytm are official partners of the IPL. Chinese firm Tencent, one of the world’s largest video game companies, has a majority stake in Dream 11, and Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant Alibaba has a 37.15 per cent stake in Paytm. Apart from the big players, Swiggy, in which Tencent has a 5.27 per cent, is an associate sponsor of the world’s richest...



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