India vs Australia
India won the 2018-19 series 2-1 (Photo-Reuters)
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With Nike’s Team India contract ending last month, the Virat Kohli-led Indian Cricket Team might well be left with no choice but to travel to Australia without an apparel sponsor.

The situation has arrived after no company came forward with a bid when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) floated a tender last month.

With the Indian team set to travel to Australia from the UAE in three weeks’ time, time is running out for the apex body to find a replacement in such a short period of time.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has anyway decided to stop the tender process for new apparel rights partners and instead, has been in discussion to invite potential bidders to come and discuss.

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However, with the time running way, the apex body appears to have made up its mind on not issuing a fresh invitation to tender (ITT).

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BCCI running out of time as Team India set to travel to Australia without an apparel sponsor

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India, BCCI
Indian team during the 2018 England series [Photo-Getty Images]
According to a TOI report, those in the know of things have said that the board was contemplating on floating an ITN- Invitation to Negotiate- where it expects to sit ‘face to face’ with the interested parties and negotiate the whole process.

And, while there is an interest in picking up the rights albeit at a cheaper rate in the wake of a Covid-hit economic environment, many experts believe that BCCI needs to sort out whether the ITN will work out well for all concerned parties.

1) BCCI needs to take merchandise and licensing seriously.

2) They haven’t really drawn any plans on how they intend to create the right space in revenue verticals.

3) The BCCI does not have a plan to counter fake merchandise.

4) “There seem to be no marketing plans around supporting the people investing in these rights” says the sources in the know of development as quoted by TOI.

Nike’s 15-year-long association with the Indian Cricket Team ended in September post which the company did not show any interest in continuing further.

“There are interested parties. Maybe not at the same value, which is understandable, but their primary question is what further value can they draw from their investments?” sources were quoted as by TOI.

When the tender was last floated, companies like Adidas, Puma, ITW Consulting [for My11 Circle], Universal SportsBiz- the parent company of Wrogn- and Dream11’s parent company Sporta Technologies Ltd. Disney had shown interest.

The tender value had also been reduced by 31 percent to Rs 61 Lakh per match as compared to Nike, which used to pay the BCCI Rs 88 Lakh per game.

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.