What led to the BCCI-IMG fallout?

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A source said that BCCI is miffed by IMG’s ‘poor leadership’ in the UK. Another stated that the board has cost-cutting in mind

The recent decision by the BCCI to part ways with International Management Group (IMG), which has held the event rights of the IPL since 2008, has come as a big surprise. It must be mentioned that the UK-based IMG Group had retained the event rights for the IPL in 2017 until 2022.

It‘s now learnt that the richest cricket board plans to run IPL on its own. The 2021 edition of the premier league is expected to be held in March-April, as per schedule.

Some reports even say that a mini-auction before the IPL is expected to be held in February 2021 if covid doesn’t pose a big threat again. Incidentally, the decision of the BCCI to part ways with IMG comes a couple of weeks after Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)  in a stock exchange filing said it will buy IMG Worldwide’s 50 % stake in IMG-Reliance Ltd (IMG-R) for no more than ₹ 52.08 crore in cash.

To get some insights into this, we reached out to a highly placed source in the know of the development. In his view, IMG has depleted all their resources and has only “low-level execution team” which was unacceptable to the BCCI board.

“None of their leadership has ever come to India in the last 3-4 years. Seems like IMG overall is not interested. There is also the issue of poor leadership from their UK leader under whom almost all their senior leaders have quit.”

Another source close to BCCI revealed that by doing do BCCI intends to “save Rs 30 crore per year”.

If we look at the remuneration of IMG, the company was first signed on Rs 27 Crore annual deal in 2008, which was hiked to Rs 28 crore in 2010. In 2017, the BCCI board decided to give IMG was given another hike and now the deal involved over Rs 30 crore plus interest.

As per reports, BCCI is already looking to put in place a team of qualified executives to organise the 14th edition of the IPL and might come out with a tender soon.

IMG on its part maintains that it is ‘in discussions’ about the future of the deal.

When e4m reached out to IMG for their side of the story, an IMG spokesperson said, “We are in discussions with our colleagues at the BCCI, who we are proud to support on the IPL which has become one of the world’s leading sporting events since its inception in 2007. Most recently, together we safely delivered a successful 2020 season in the UAE, despite extraordinary challenges posed by the global pandemic.”

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Ruhail Amin

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