IPL should cut ties with Chinese sponsors: KXIP co-owner Ness Wadia

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jun 30, 2020, 05.40 PM(IST)

Chinese sponsors in IPL: BCCI unlikely to cut ties if 'exit clause' favours VIVO Photograph:( PTI )

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Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia on Tuesday called for an end to Chinese sponsorships and financial contracts in the Indian Premier League amid the tensions between two countries following the violent clash in eastern Ladakh earlier in June.

Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia on Tuesday called for an end to Chinese sponsorships and financial contracts in the Indian Premier League amid the tensions between two countries following the violent clash in eastern Ladakh earlier in June.

Calls for boycotting Chinese products have echoed all around the country after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley clash on June 15. Amid the escalating tensions, the BCCI called a meeting of the IPL Governing Council to review Chinese sponsorship in the cash-rich tournament. And on Monday, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps including trending TikTok, ShareIt, WeChat and many others.

"We should do it (sever ties with Chinese sponsors in IPL) for the sake of the nation. Country comes first, money is secondary. And it is the Indian Premier League, not the Chinese Premier League. It should lead by example and show the way," Wadia told PTI on Tuesday. 

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We must have all the respect for the nation: KXIP co-owner Ness Wadia

"Yes it would be difficult to find sponsors initially but I am sure there are enough Indian sponsors who can replace them. We must have all the respect for the nation and our government and most importantly for the soldiers who risk their lives for us," said the known Indian businessman.

The face-off between India and China was the biggest confrontation between the two countries after their 1967 clashes in Nathu La when India lost around 80 soldiers whereas China lost over 300 soldiers.

Chinese mobile maker Vivo is the title sponsor of IPL and pays Rs 440 crore to the BCCI for the five-year-deal ending in 2022. The likes of Paytm, Swiggy, Dream11 – all have Chinese investments and are involved in the IPL.

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Wadia has cleared his part out and other franchises, including Chennai Super Kings, said they will follow government orders.

"It will be tough to replace them initially but if it has to be done for the sake of the nation, we should do it," a CSK source told PTI.
Another team owner said: "Let the government decide first, whatever they decide, we will follow".

Wadia is also of the view that BCCI needs to find an Indian sponsor for the upcoming season while adding it is not right to wait government’s directives.

Indian companies need to step up: Ness Wadia

"If I was the BCCI president, I would say find me an Indian sponsor for the upcoming season.

"Indian companies need to step up and see the same benefits and opportunities that Chinese companies have seen in the IPL, which is the best T20 league in the world."

Asked about the Chinese sponsorship in IPL teams, Wadia said: "The teams too should be given time to replace their Chinese sponsors. As I said, there are enough Indian companies which can replace them."

Wadia also welcomed the Indian government's decision to ban Chinese apps citing national security.

"If India plays its card right, it can really be the superpower it desires to be," he observed.

"Personally I don't like to buy Chinese products because they are sub-standard. The focus has to be on making Indian and buying Indian. China produces such large volumes and suffocates the world, it has to stop. We should put all our efforts on making India a manufacturing hub.

"I travel around the country a lot. If we don't stop the influx of cheap Chinese goods and are not firm in what we are doing, Indian manufacturing will die," cautioned Wadia.