Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia on Tuesday demanded a gradual scrapping of Chinese companies' sponsorship in the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to rising tensions between India and China in eastern Ladakh earlier this month. Demand for boycott of Chinese products has been steadily increasing since the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galvan Valley on 15 June.
China, however, has so far refused to share information about the deaths of its soldiers. Following the incident, the BCCI had to call a meeting of the IPL Governing Council to review sponsorship by Chinese companies but the meeting has not been held yet.
On Monday, China's China banned 59 apps. Wadia told PTI on Tuesday, “We should do this for the sake of the country (breaking ties with China's sponsors in the IPL)”. Country comes first, money comes later. And this is the Indian Premier League, not the China Premier League. It should set an example and show the way. '
He said, “Yes, initially it will be difficult to find a sponsor but I think there are enough Indian sponsors who can replace them.” We should respect the country and the government and the most important soldiers who risk their lives for us. '
When the Indian troops protested against the construction of a garrison by the Chinese side towards the Indian side in Galvan, the Chinese soldiers attacked them with stones, nail poles and iron bars. This was the biggest skirmish between the armies of the two countries after 1967 at Nathula. India had lost about 80 soldiers while more than 300 Chinese soldiers were killed.
China's mobile phone company Vivo is the title sponsor of the IPL and pays Rs 440 crore to the Cricket Board of India (BCCI) each year under a 2022 agreement. Chinese companies also have investments in IPL-linked companies Paytm, Swiggy and Dream XI. Not only IPL but teams are also sponsored by Chinese companies.
Wadia has made her stand clear, but other teams, including Chennai Super Kings, said they would accept the government's decision. A CSK source said, “It will be difficult to take his place in the beginning but if it is done for the sake of the country then we should do that.” Another team owner said, “Let the government decide, whatever decision they make We will obey him.
Wadia said that it is not right to wait for the government's instructions in this controversial case because 'it is our moral responsibility to stand with the country at this time'. He said, “If I were the BCCI president, I would have said that I want an Indian sponsor for the upcoming session.” Wadia also welcomed the government's decision to ban China's app, citing national security.