BCCI chief comes out in support of IPL

New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday came out in defencce of the Indian Premier League (IPL), asserting that the lucrative Twenty20 cricket tournament has had several positive effects on the game in the country.

“I am pained at the frivolous comments that have been made about the IPL including calling it an ‘extravaganza’. You as an administrator are well aware of the tremendous impact of the IPL on Indian and World Cricket. For your reference, I would like to once again mention the positive outcomes of IPL which you could communicate further to all the stakeholders.

Since its inception in 2008, the IPL has taken rapid strides in the field of sports. It is the most watched cricket league globally and the sixth most popular sports league in the world. According to Twitter, it is the fastest growing sports league,” BCCI President Anurag Thakur said in a letter to the various state associations.

“With a viewership of more than 335 million, the IPL is a broadcaster’s delight; it is advertisers’ preferred platform and one of the most sought after properties to partner with. The IPL has attracted fans across genders, age groups, demographics and has a global appeal. In a short span of nine years, IPL has created a legacy of its own and changed the dynamics of cricket.

“It has been the catalyst to revive the culture of domestic sports in India,” the letter added.

“There are at least 13 cricketers who did exceedingly well in IPL and got a chance to play for India.”

Thakur’s statement comes in the wake of the Supreme Court insistence that the BCCI must implement the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Comittee in full. One of the directives by the Supreme Court appointed Lodha panel states that there must be a a 15-day window before and after the 2017 edition of the IPL and the Champions Trophy to be held in England next year.

The Champions Trophy is scheduled from June 1-18 next year while the IPL is likely to end in the last week of May. The BCCI had earlier warned that the Indian team may have to pull out of the Champions Trophy or next year’s IPL may have to abandoned if the recommendations by the Lodha panel are fully implemented.

The BCCI chief also listed out the financial benefits which the IPL has brought to the board and its state affiliates as well as to the Indian economy as a whole.

“Economic Impact: According to study conducted by KPMG, IPL – 2015’s economic impact on Indian economy was Rs.2,650 crore besides providing employment to a number of people, directly and indirectly. It’s contribution to Indian GDP is Rs.1150 crore.

“In the last nine years, state associations have got Rs 2,406 crore from the IPL profits, the further investment in the game. BCCI has paid Rs.110 crore from the IPL profits to ex-cricketers as one time benefit, those who were not covered under platinum jubilee scheme of the board,” Thakur pointed out.

“Moreover IPL has paid Rs 2,244 crore directly in various taxes over the nine years. Indirect tax payments are not added into these figures as they have been paid by different vendors associated with the event. However, one can’t deny that contribution to tax kitty is also because of IPL, be it broadcasters, advertisers, service provider etc,” he added.

“I have listed a few positive impacts of IPL however in light of recent comments made against IPL, all members need to collectively decide, whether to stop this extravaganza. I leave it to collective wisdom of the members.”