Ness Wadia, Kings XI Punjab co-owner, has called for a gradual and systematic end to Chinese sponsorship in the IPL in the wake of escalating tensions between the two Asian nations in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
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Calls for the boycott of Chinese battles have intensified post the bloody battle between the armed forces in the Galwan Valley on the night of June 15th that left 20 Bravehearts dead. The Chinese are yet to confirm the casualties on their side.
Amidst the escalating tensions, the BCCI has called a meeting to review the sponsorship of the cash-rich league’s title sponsor Vivo and other sponsors. However, the meeting is yet to take place.
Calling for the severing of ties with Chinese sponsors, Ness Wadia said the IPL should do it for the sake of the nation.
“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,” Ness Wadia told PTI on Tuesday.
“Yes 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,” he added.
“Indian companies need to step up”- Ness Wadia on bringing Indian sponsors in the IPL
While Wadia has reckoned that the BCCI should not wait for the government’s decision, other IPL franchises have said that they will wait for the government’s decision before taking any action.
“If I was the BCCI president, I would say find me an Indian sponsor for the upcoming season,” Wadia added.
“It will be tough to replace them initially but if it has to be done for the sake of the nation, we should do it,” a CSK source told PTI.
“Let the government decide first, whatever they decide, we will follow” another source added.
Wadia also called for the Indian companies to step-up and see the benefits that the Chinese companies have seen thus far.
“Indian companies need to step up and see the same benefits and opportunities that Chinese companies have seen in the IPL, which is the best T20 league in the world.” Wadia added.
Apart from Vivo, other sponsors who have a considerable amount of Chinese investment are Paytm, Swiggy and Dream11.