IPL 2021 auction likely to happen without sponsor as Dream11, VIVO still uncertain

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The cash-rich cricket league, Indian Premier League (IPL) is once again without a title sponsor as the IPL 13 title sponsor Dream11 ended its contract on 31st December. It means, the upcoming auction for IPL 2021 is likely to be held without a title sponsor as renewing of Dream11’s contract is still being discussed, while VIVO return remains uncertain.

Presently, neither the IPL’s official website nor any of the IPL’s press releases carries Dream11 name or logo anymore. Earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that they are open to make a new deal with VIVO as title sponsor for IPL 2021, who acquired the title sponsorship rights for the T20 league in 2018 for INR 440 crore per year for five seasons.

However, Vivo Communication Technology Co’s withdrew from sponsoring the IPL 13 last year due to the negative publicity it has gained over the last few weeks amid the Indo-China tension on the border. Fantasy sports platform Dream11 emerged in the race to bag the cash-rich tournament sponsorship. Dream11 became the title sponsor of the IPL 2020 following the Rs 222 crore for the 4.5-month deal.

With the IPL 2021 preparations underway, the board is on the lookout for a new sponsor. According to reports, though the board is open to VIVO’s return as title sponsor, the current situation on the border seems not feasible for the Chinese mobile maker’s return. The board has decided to conducted IPL auctions on 18th February in Chennai which is less than 3 weeks from now.

“Tender for the new title sponsor is the only feasible option currently available. The IPL 2020 deal was almost half and we can’t continue with the same. Going back to VIVO also is highly unlikely in the current situation. The final decision on the new tender and title sponsor will be taken soon”, an anonymous source from the BCCI told a news portal.

According to reports, the 14th edition of the IPL is slated to be held in its original April-May window. The venue and dates for IPL 2021 are however yet to be announced by BCCI. Earlier, a total of 139 players were retained while 57 were released ahead of the auction. Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab have the biggest purse going into the IPL 2021 auction while Dehi Capitals have the lowest.

Last year, Mumbai Indians have successfully defended their IPL title and clinched their fifth trophy after thrashing Delhi Capitals by five wickets in the final in Dubai. Brilliant hostile bowling led by Trent Boult took MI to victory, now the most successful team in IPL history, chased 157 with eight balls to spare as captain Rohit Sharma hit 68. The 2020 edition of the tournament was held entirely in the UAE.

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