New Delhi, May 20: The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a grinding halt and forced every sporting activity in 2020 to be either postponed indefinitely or cancelled. The cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) is one such event which the organisers BCCI have deferred for an indefinite period as the virus is spreading like a wildfire.
Many believe that the BCCI won't be able to organise IPL 13 this year due to the pandemic and that will pose a severe loss to the cricking world as a whole. In a news report published with The Times of India, former IPL COO Sundar Raman claimed the cancellation of the Indian domestic league will severely impact cricket boards as well as the players.
Raman - who has also worked as a senior official at the International Cricket Council - has backed IPL if one has to choose between the domestic league and ICC T20 World Cup.
According to Raman, IPL alone guarantees US$100m in players' salaries annually (Rs 85 cr per franchise multiplied by 8). That accounts for broadcast revenues of at least three to four member-boards of the ICC put together, underlining what's at stake for players financially on a global scale where India's T20 league alone is concerned.
He further explained that the global cricket economy estimated to be around US$1.9b and has a strong reliance on India as nearly two-third of this revenue is generated by playing with or against India. India realises 45% of its overall potential, thereby enabling other nations to monetise.
"This potential opportunity of India's revenue contribution (unrealised by India) is alone worth US$ 1.2b over a four-year cycle (2019-22)," he said.
Raman further explained that despite being a Cricket World Cup year, a third of cricket revenues in 2019 were from the IPL. With a fair market pricing structure, approximately 24% (US$ 100m) of the broadcast rights fee earned by IPL is spent as player wages every year.
In 2019, IPL revenues were estimated to be 30% higher than that of the World Cup (not including ticketing revenues of CWC as those are retained by the host). IPL 2020 revenue was projected to be 70% higher compared to ICC WT20 revenues in 2020.
With current uncertainty around both these events, this remains a hypothetical scenario. Raman further added, "Cancellation of both these events will have a serious impact on cricket economics for this year. However, in the case of an ICC event, as the contracts run through till 2023, a deferment to 2022 may be possible without loss of revenues. Not hosting IPL or bilateral season of any country will lead to a loss of revenue, which is far from desirable. In an ideal world, the ICC event scheduled in 2021 in India could be shifted to Australia as it is in the same October window and India could host the event in 2022 by creating a suitable window. This will give adequate time for economic recovery and not overcrowd the calendar".
He further said that IPL could emerge as the biggest revenue generator for global cricket, even bigger than ICC and ACC revenues combined.
"IPL remains as the single biggest event for the global cricket economy. With a contribution of around 1/3rd of global cricket revenues annually, the importance of IPL cricket's global economy cannot be overstressed. If IPL was to be considered a separate cricket body and revenues from IPL were to be removed from the Indian cricket boards revenues, IPL would emerge as the biggest revenue generator for global cricket - higher even than ICC & ACC revenues combined," he added.