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IPL to review Chinese sponsorship after violent border skirmish
IPL Sponsorship

IPL to review Chinese sponsorship after violent border skirmish

Chinese sponsorship of the Indian Premier League could be under threat after rising calls over the boycott of Chinese products and companies following border tensions between the two countries.

The IPL Governing Council will meet next week to review the sponsorship deals and reconsider partnerships with Chinese firms.

VIVO, a Chinese mobile phone maker, is IPL's leading sponsor having grabbed the rights of the tournament from 2018 to 2022 for a whopping amount of $330 million.

However, political ties amongst China and India turned for the worse on June 15 when a violent border clash left 20 Indian troops dead while unconfirmed sources attributed casualties to the Chinese army as well.

"Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave (soldiers), the IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL's various sponsorship deal," the official IPL Twitter account informed.

This move coincides with a similar step taken by the Indian Olympic Association, which is also ready to reassess its deal with Chinese kit-makers Li Ning.

"Our tie-up with them is until the Tokyo Olympics. We will take a decision in the executive board meeting whenever that takes place after the lockdown," IOA secretary-general Rajeev Mehta was quoted as saying by AFP.

Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings spinner Harbhajan Singh has made his views clear on the issue by outrightly supporting the boycott of Chinese goods.

"Ban all Chinese products," he wrote on Twitter in response to the ongoing hostilities.

The cash-rich IPL has been repeatedly postponed in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, though its prospects of being held at a later date this year have brightened given Cricket Australia's reluctance to stage the T20 World Cup in 2020. A final decision is yet to be made on the proposed dates for the tournament and the feasibility of arranging a bio-secure environment for players.