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VIVO may not be title sponsor of IPL this year amid Indo-China dispute



VIVO is likely to pull out as the Indian Premier League’s title sponsor for this year and is in talks with the BCCI for an “amicable separation” amid rising Sino-India diplomatic tensions.

The one-year pullout could be treated as a moratorium period and if the relations improve, BCCI may look at inking a fresh three-year deal with the company from 2021 to 2023 on revised terms. The IPL will be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10 this year.

“Yes, the discussions are on between BCCI office-bearers (president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah) with the representatives of the company. There is a possibility that Vivo will not be title sponsors for one year,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

Chinese sponsorship became a bone of contention after the BCCI declared it would review the deals following the violent clashes between the armies of both the countries in eastern Ladakh.

The clash, which led to the killing of 20 Indian soldiers, triggered public outrage and led to calls of boycotting Chinese companies and products.

While the IPL Governing Council on Sunday retained all the sponsors, including Vivo which annually pays Rs 440 crore (approximately) as part of a five-year deal lasting till 2022, there is a strong possibility that the company might part ways for a year.

The Board official PTI spoke to said that whenever a decision is taken, it will be amicable and the BCCI is not looking at encashing the bank guarantee.

“In different circumstances, if the sponsors don’t keep commitment, BCCI can encash the bank guarantee which it had earlier done in case of errant franchises. But here, both parties are looking at an amicable escape route,” the official said.

There were questions raised on the BCCI’s decision to retain Chinese sponsors even as the union government banned close to 60 Chinese apps and social media platforms.

“These are sensitive times and need a cautious approach. Once you had said that you will review sponsorship and then did nothing about it, would raise a question mark over your intent on dealing with the Chinese companies,” the official said.

The BCCI is already in talks with a couple of Indian companies who are believed to be interested in a short-term sponsorship deal — one year period.

“It will be difficult to make up the full amount (Rs 440 crore) in such a short time with the tournament being held overseas. Also, there won’t be much traction in an empty stadium. But we will come to that once VIVO officially quits,” he said.



IPL 2020: Yuzvendra Chahal changed match for RCB, believes captain Virat Kohli



Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli lauded his teammates for keeping their composure as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 10 runs in their opening encounter of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Monday.

“Last year we were on the other side of the results. We kept our composure tonight,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

RCB first posted 163/5 in their allotted 20 overs and then defended the total by inflicting a monstrous batting collapse for SRH at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, bowling them out for 153 in the final over of the match.

For RCB, Yuzvendra Chahal starred with the ball as he returned with brilliant figures of 3/18.

“Yuzi (Chahal) came in and changed the game for us. Tonight he showed that if you have skill, you can get purchase on any wicket. He came in and bowled attacking lines,” said Kohli of Chahal.

The RCB skipper further said that it was heartening to see that the team didn’t let negativity slip into the bowling group, which according to him, was a “great sign”.

RCB will next play Kings XI Punjab at the same venue on Thursday.


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IPL 2020: Glenn Maxwell to be available for Kings XI Punjab’s opening match against Delhi Capitals



Kings XI Punjab on Saturday confirmed that Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell will be available for selection for their opening game of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) against Delhi Capitals.

On their official website, Kings XI Punjab informed that Maxwell arrived in the UAE on September 17 following Australia’s England tour.

“He would now be required to complete only a three-day quarantine period in the team hotel instead of the normal five, as per regulations, as he arrived into the country from an already bio-secure bubble in England,” Kings XI said.

“With his quarantine period scheduled to be complete on Saturday, Maxwell would be eligible for selection for Kings XI Punjab’s season opener against Delhi Capitals on September 20,” it added.

Maxwell was in great form in the recently concluded T20I and ODI series against England. He was was the Player of the Series in the ODI series which Australia won 2-1.

With Maxwell’s arrival in the UAE, Kings XI’s 25-member squad for IPL 13 is now complete, with the likes of Mujeeb ur Rahman, Nicholas Pooran and Sheldon Cottrell arriving earlier in the week.

With the full squad having arrived in the UAE and no injuries being reported yet, Anil Kumble and the rest of the Kings XI Punjab management will have a full roster of 25 players to choose from for their season opener on Sunday.


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Mahendra Singh Dhoni finally calls it a day, retires from international cricket



Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has ended all the speculations around his retirement and called it a day in international cricket on Saturday.

Taking to his official Instagram handle, Dhoni posted a montage with several clips and moments from his international career. He captioned the post, “Thanks. Thanks a lot for ur love and support throughout. From 1929 hours consider me as Retired.”

Dhoni has been the most successful Indian captain ever and is the only international skipper who has led his team all the ICC glories. After the ICC World T20 victory in 2007, Dhoni-led India earned the ICC Test Mace in 2009 and followed it with the ICC World Cup win in 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy victory in 2013.

Dhoni has not been seen in the Indian blue since the nation team’s semifinal exit from the ICC World Cup 2019 against New Zealand. He had taken a sabbatical for two months, but no comeback plan was announced by him.

In this time, Rishabh Pant and later KL Rahul took his place as wicketkeeper of the Indian limited-overs side.

Meanwhile, speculations had grown wild that he would return to the cricket field with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and would make a case to be part of the Indian squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2020.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting normalcy, the IPL was postponed and this year’s T20 World Cup was also cancelled. While the IPL is set to take place in March, the next T20 World Cup is scheduled for 2021.

Other than that, the recent future of India’s next limited-overs cricket is also under doubt due to the pandemic. Given than Dhoni would be on the vicinity of turning 40 by the time India play any white-ball cricket, his decision emerges as a calculated step.

The 2011 World Cup-winning captain is yet to give details of the development as to whether he is retiring from the game entirely or if he is only bowing out from international cricket.

Dhoni is currently part of the CSK training camp at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai and is expected to lead the team in the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League which is set to start on September 19 in the UAE.

In 350 ODI appearances as a batsman, Dhoni has amassed 10,773 runs at an average of above 50 with 10 centuries. His T20I numbers included 1,617 runs at an average of 37 in 97 matches.

He had retired from Test cricket during India’s 2014-15 tour of Australia.


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