The Board of Control for India’s (BCCI) decision of banning any deals with cryptocurrency exchanges has irked few Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises. Large crypto exchanges had reached out to the IPL franchises for title and associate sponsorships and negotiations were underway.However, the BCCI was clear cut in saying that it won’t strike a deal with cryptocurrency companies until proper regulations for the crypto sector are in place. If reports are to be believed, the world’s richest cricket board had asked the owners and media rights holder Star & Disney India to stay away from signing any deals with cryptocurrency exchanges. Two IPL franchises, on conditions of anonymity, said that they couldn’t go ahead with the plans and lost a golden chance of making money.
“It’s a major opportunity loss. The kind of money they were offering for the main sponsorship was 1.5 times of what the current sponsor is paying. They wanted to build their brand with our association and were ready to pay for that,” one executive was quoted as saying in The Economic Times.The franchises are unhappy because the ICC didn’t have any issues with cryptocurrency companies getting involved in sponsoring or advertising. Recently, CoinSwitch, CoinDCX and Kuber spent more than INR 50 crores together in sponsorship deals in the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. There are no regulations on cryptocurrencies for the time being. The experts have raised leg flags over the authenticity of the same. In the meantime, a BCCI insider stated that the issues surrounding crypto is more political in nature. “While the members of the IPL governing council may not have an issue with cryptocurrency exchanges advertising, it’s a matter of optics. BCCI secretary Jay Shah is the son of the union home minister, and the central government is in the process of bringing a crypto bill in the upcoming winter session of parliament. “Till there is some clarity, he may not be seen allowing crypto ads. The board, thus, would rather err on the side of caution,” the BCCI insider said. According to the Lok Sabha website, the cryptocurrency bill will be introduced "to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”.