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‘Dhan-Kuber’ of Indian sports BCCI hurts patriotic sentiments by awarding IPL sponsorship to China-backed Dream 11

When IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel informed that Dream 11 has been awarded the title sponsorship of the IPL, 'the Vivo-ouster' episode started looking more like an eyewash.

The ‘Dhan-Kuber’ of the Indian sports arena, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now awarded the ‘Title Sponsorship’ of this year’s IPL to China’s tech behemoth Tencent backed controversial Fantasy sports platform ‘Dream 11’.

It seems that at a time when the Narendra Modi government at the centre is, with its iron-hand, teaching a tough lesson to deceitful China, which had most cowardly and brutally martyred 20 of our brave soldiers in Galwan valley close to the LAC in a few weeks back, the board has not aligned with it.

Our soldiers were martyred, not so long ago and the government, in a bid to hurt China’s financial interests, had banned a total of 106 apps of China including some of the very big names like Tik-Tok, Baidu Search Engine and Wechat, hitting the dragon where it hurt the most.

China, which through its mouthpiece ‘The Global Times’ was further falacious tropes against India and even taking a threatening tone, was hit hard by this. After that, when the Chinese phone-maker Vivo gave up the Title Sponsorship of the IPL, the whole country, which is already united firmly against China to boycott its goods and services, rejoiced.

High Patriotic Hopes Shattered       

Hopes were high that the IPL title sponsorship would certainly go to some Indian company with no connections with the dragon or at least a non-Chinese company. When Tatas, one of the most patriotic Indian companies, showed interest, it was being assumed that the BCCI would give up the ‘only-for-money’ kind of attitude and award it to one of the oldest Indian companies.

When IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel informed that Dream 11 has been awarded the title sponsorship of the IPL, ‘the Vivo-ouster’ episode started looking more like an eyewash.

The hurried way in which the IPL is being organized in the gulf (slated to be held from September 19 to November 10 at three venues in the UAE) despite the fact that India is reeling under China originate mysterious Coronavirus pandemic which has so far infected over 2.5 million in India alone and claimed the lives of over 50 thousand people, also give rise to doubts doing the rounds in the mind of many common cricket lovers.

Interestingly, China-backed Dream 11 was already an ‘official partner’ of the BCCI and organizes the controversial fantasy version of the IPL. This fantasy IPL is also looked down upon by many cricket lovers as a ‘promotion ground’ for betting and gambling. A case of huge ‘tax evasion’ against Dream 11, in which the status of Fantasy cricket, as a sort of gambling, is also under examination is currently sub-judice in the apex court.

Fans feel cheated 

A cricket fan in Ahmedabad, the city that had seen one of the strongest anti-China-protests after Galwan incident, said, ‘when the whole of the country looks united to boycott China, and under the brave leadership of PM Narendra Modi, trying to hit it back financially, the BCCI is not looking like behaving in a patriotic manner.’

Another such fan also expressed his annoyance. ‘Cricket has over the last few decades somehow turned into the most popular game in the country at the cost of the national sport of Hockey and other Indian games and the role of big multinational companies behind it to exploit the huge Indian markets, is quite obvious. Now at a time of the most serious national crisis in many years (the Chinese aggression and Corona crisis together), the BCCI is rather than promoting Indian companies, taking sides with the Chinese ones and their moles in India.’

‘I was expecting such a development since I saw the interview of BCCI treasurer, Arun Dhumal, a few weeks back in which he had said that so long as the Chinese companies have the right to do business in India there was no harm in BCCI getting sponsorship from them. He had also said that the cricketing body was, in fact, helping the government get a part of the money from the Chinese companies with this act,’ he said.

‘This presumably was the most absurd logic. He perhaps forgot (or may have feigned to do so) that by using the sponsorship of team India and big cricketing events like the IPL, the Chinese companies get immensely benefited. They reach out to almost every household in India and in turn sell their products. And the huge money, they thus make in our beloved country is siphoned out to China, which kills our soldiers with baseball bats and sticks wrapped with barbed wires, is much-much bigger than the comparatively petty amount that the BCCI gets for the title sponsorship,’ he added saying that as a common Indian he and numerous like him hoped that good senses prevail upon the BCCI and it gets rid of such Chinese or China back sponsors. 

‘Otherwise, the people of India will also show them their ‘rightful’ place. Amid Corona crisis, we are living happily without any cricket since March and we can even become used to it.  For any patriotic Indian the country comes first. Standing with the enemy and their associates, in the name of cricket is not tolerable,’ he stressed.

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I am a journalist with over two decades of experience. I write on various topics including those related to politics, business and technology.

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