Successful staging of IPL BCCI's priority, not ticket revenue

Passionate supporters
Kolkata Knight Riders fans during a 2019 IPL game. File photo: AFP

New Delhi: Indian Premier League (IPL) Chairman British Patel has confirmed that the 13th edition is set to be played in the window from September 19 to November 8. But a topic that now comes to the fore is whether or not the UAE authorities will allow fans to come in. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has left it to the host country.

While most of the franchises feel that gate money shouldn't be a concern at this point in time when having an IPL feels like a blessing -- considering the coronavirus pandemic -- one or two franchises have on and off spoken about ticket revenue generation.

Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that in a meeting of the franchises with BCCI officials, a young face of a franchise known to be close to a board official raised the issue of compensation for ticket revenue.

"The issue was raised by a young individual who is known to be close to an official. But all the others present stressed that ticket revenue was the least of everyone's concerns and what was important was that the IPL actually takes place this year.

"In this background, it is surprising that some minority shareholders of a franchise are seeking to stir up the issue," the source pointed.

A BCCI official made it clear that at this point in time, the idea is to come together and ensure that the tournament is successfully hosted.

"I do not think it makes financial sense for the BCCI to do so (compensate for lack of ticket revenue). The franchises would earn approximately Rs 200 crore each as rights money which otherwise they wouldn't have. I am sure they would not be happy to forego that in lieu of the ticket revenue. The IPL is happening this year but it is only with the support of the franchises and the state associations that it seems probable," the official told IANS.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians won the 2019 IPL after a thrilling final against Chennai Super Kings. File photo: AFP

Echoing similar sentiments, a franchise official said that all efforts should be made to ensure that IPL 13 is a huge success because the fate of a lot of domestic cricketers depends on it.

"We are really excited to see the effort that the BCCI has put in to ensure that the 13th edition is not cancelled. We are not just thankful, but also wish to work in tandem. You cannot forget that while the franchises will reap the rewards of the IPL being held, a lot of domestic cricketers will be a part of the league. They wait through the year for this tournament. Cricketing and financial gain goes hand in hand.

"And not just that, quite a bit of the money that comes in with the IPL is also used by the BCCI for development of domestic cricket and ensuring that even those who do not play the IPL can make ends meet – an idea that has been time and again backed by India skipper Virat Kohli. There have been a few discussions here and there wherein a couple of franchises have raised the topic of ticket revenue, but at the end of the day, we would rather have an IPL than worry about how much money we are making this time round," the official said.

Another official said that it would be great if fans can come in, but that is purely to give players the motivation to go that extra yard on the pitch.

"We have some die-hard fans across the globe and the IPL means top Indian players in action. That way, we would love to have fans come in. That would further boost the spirits of the players. But we are not thinking about gate money," the official pointed out.

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