Ness Wadia has put country above revenues on the choice of Chinese sponsors for the Indian Premier League. The Kings XI Punjab co-owner has called for gradually driving the Chinese brands out of the Indian Premier League sponsorship.
“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 has told national news agency PTI.
The Chinese soldiers had used stones, nail-studded sticks, iron rods and clubs to brutally attack Indian soldiers after they protested the erection of a surveillance post by China on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in Galwan.
There has been countrywide anti-China sentiment after 20 Indian soldiers were martyred in the scuffle with the Chinese troops who had intruded into the Indian territory on the Line of Actual Control. Responding to the calls to ban Chinese products, Wadia said that the BCCI and the IPL franchisees should get rid of the Chinese sponsors if not this year then by IPL 2021.
“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 IPL title sponsor, Chinese mobile phone brand Vivo is presently paying the BCCI ₹ 440 crore per annum. The five-year ₹ 2,199 crore deal runs till 2022.
Among the other IPL sponsors, Paytm, Swiggy and Dream11 have significant investments by Chinese funds.
Wadia has also welcomed the decision by the Union Government to ban 59 Chinese mobile applications on Monday.