IPL Governing Council member raises issue of IMG contract

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Indian Premier League Governing Council member Surinder Khanna has raised the issue of the ₹ 33.5 crore annual contract with the event agency IMG, which has been associated with the league ever since its inception in 2008.

The matter raised in the last IPL Governing Council meeting at the Board of Control for Cricket in India headquarters in Mumbai on November 5 is  recorded in the minutes. InsideSport.co is in possession of a copy of the same.

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The BCCI via a tender process in 2018 had extended IMG’s contract as IPL’s event agency. However, Khanna had questioned why the BCCI could not organise the IPL events in-house, and opined the ₹33.5 crore IMG bill was too high.

IPL Chief Operating Officer Hemang Amin while agreeing that it was possible to do the event without the agency involvement as “IMG also hires the freelance staff which BCCI can also hire”. He, however, had added that any change in the system would be possible only after the IMG’s existing five-year contract expires in 2022.

Khanna, according a source privy to the development, had expressed the concern as the initial ten-year contract with the IMG had categorically stated that BCCI would train its own team to take up the task from the 11th season of the league. “However, in spite of a contractual understanding the people running the IPL never made an effort in this direction. At a time when IMG were supposed to pass on the job to the BCCI’s in-house team, the board came out with a second tender and awarded the contract to the same agency at a higher price,” the source said.

InsideSport.co has also learnt that the CAG nominee in BCCI apex council, Alka Rehani Bhardwaj, and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly have deliberated on the minutes, but not offered an immediate reaction.

The IMG, it can be said, had earned both the contracts on merit via a legitimate tender process. The onus always was on the BCCI and the IPL COO to implement the idea that had been made part of a contract. If the BCCI was floating a tender for the services IMG has been offering for ten years, it cannot be expected from the agency to let go a lucrative business opportunity.

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