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Reebok to continue association with controversy-hit Chennai Super Kings

NEW DELHI: German sportswear major Adidas today said its arm, Reebok India, will continue association with IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings despite controversy surrounding team principal Gurunath Meiyappan’s alleged involvement in betting.

“We are going to wait to see how the current situation plays out. We remain committed to the team. We have multi-year commitment with the team,” Adidas Group India Managing Director Eric Haskell told reporters.

Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan who has stepped aside, was arrested by Mumbai police for alleged betting in and was released on bail. He has been suspended by the cricket board.

When asked if the company could re-look at its partnership if the contract of Chennai Super Kings is terminated by BCCI due to alleged betting in IPL, Haskell said: “We will have to see how it plays (out). We will have to take a call if and when it happens,” added Haskell.

Both Adidas and Reebok have strong connection with cricket and have cricketers as brand ambassadors.

He said the current controversies surrounding IPL have have tarnished cricket at present.

“…it is disappointing for sure. It (cricket) may be bit tarnished at the moment and I am hopeful it will get cleaned up,” Haskell said..

Reebok India supplies sports gear to two more IPL teams — Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore — apart from Chennai Super Kings.

Brand IPL gets stronger, valuation soars to $5.3 billion

MUMBAI: There’s no stopping the Indian Premier League, even in its 10th year. As it continues to attract viewers and advertisers, the brand value of the 20-over format league has soared to $5.3 billion, as per global valuation and corporate finance advisory firm Duff & Phelps.

A controversy-free edition with highly competitive matches and an astronomical jump in the title rights value (Rs 2,199 crore for next five years) thanks to Vivo, has resulted in a 26% boost in the valuation. As per Duff & Phelps’ last year’s report, the value of

IPL

was at $4.2 billion.

“What IPL has achieved in this short time is phenomenal. Not just in India, but internationally also,” said Varun Gupta, managing director at Duff & Phelps India. “IPL not only negotiated a tough pitch but also ultimately came out on top as a true winner. This IPL season has grabbed the eyeballs for all the right reasons with a relatively controversy free tournament, coupled with some scintillating on-field performances which have brought the spotlight back on the game.”

Incidentally, IPL has protected its brand value, which has always remained more than its franchises, unlike clubs of English Premier League, where clubs’ value is far bigger.

“I feel the one thing IPL has done really well is the way it has marketed and protected its own brand. Most of the EPL clubs are bigger brands than the EPL brand itself, whereas in IPL, it seems to be Brand IPL which is much more powerful compared to the inpidual franchisees,” said Trevor Birch Managing Director, Duff & Phelps and Ex-CEO of Chelsea FC.

Among the teams, Mukesh Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians (MI) continued to remain on top in terms of valuation, crossing the $100 million mark. But what’s more important is that on an average, all the franchises have seen their valuation grow by 34%.

“The inpidual franchisee brand values have seen a significant increase compared to last year. Various factors contributed to the rise in brand values of inpidual franchisees. With the end of IPL 10, franchisees will no longer be required to pay the fixed franchisee fee as mandated in the original agreement with BCCI. Going forward, they will be required to share a percentage of their profits with BCCI as a franchisee fee, which along with the renewed title sponsorship deal, helped bump up the franchisee brand values,” said Santosh N, managing director Duff & Phelps.

While MI’s valuation has increased 36% to $106 million from $78 million in 2015, Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) valuation grew 29% to $99 million from $77 million in 2016.

Virat Kohli-captained Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), despite not having a good season, remained at number three and saw a 31% jump in its valuation to $88 million. “Pre-tournament favourites, RCB had a shocking season, finishing as the wooden spoon holders. However, this has not had much of a negative impact on the RCB brand, as the positives (star power, cricket crazy city and brand recall) outweighed the negatives,” Gupta explained. The report, in its 4th year, has not valued Rising Pune Supergiants, Gujarat Lions, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.

The report has reiterated earlier ET reports on how IPL has been a money spinner in season 10, which clocked advertising revenue of about Rs ,300 crore.

Haldiram emerges sole bidder to buy insolvency-bound Kwality for Rs 130 crore

Delhi-based Haldiram group has emerged as the sole bidder for acquiring debt-ridden dairy firm

Kwality

with an offer of around Rs 130 crore in the ongoing insolvency process, sources said.

The lenders are likely to vote on Haldiram’s bid later this month, they added.

Shailendra

Ajmera

, who is part of multinational consultancy firm EY, has been appointed as the resolution professional to conduct the insolvency proceedings, which started in December 2018 following an order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

Global private equity player KKR had filed insolvency plea against Kwality.

In 2016, Kwality had raised Rs 300 crore from KKR India Financial Services and got additional commitment of Rs 220 crore. The amount was raised to fund its expansion plans and enter into consumer segment.

The Committee of Creditors (CoC) met on Wednesday to take stock of the resolution process and discuss the valuation report.

According to sources, Haldiram has emerged as the sole bidder for the acquisition. The CoC will vote on resolution plan in the third week of October.

Kwality has a total debt of around Rs 1,900 crore, which means that lenders would have to take a significant haircut.

The company is engaged in the business of milk processing and manufacturing of dairy products, including ghee, milk powders, lassi, chaach and flavoured milk. It owns two milk processing units, one in Softa, Haryana, and another in Dibai, Uttar Pradesh.

Ashwin’s suggestion: Bowlers should get ‘free ball’ in case non-striker backs up too far

New Delhi: Senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Monday suggested the introduction of a “free ball” for bowlers if non-strikers back up too far, sticking to his stand that there was nothing wrong with running such batsmen out.

Ashwin ran out Jos Buttler during an

IPL

match between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals in 2019 when the Englishman left the non-striker’s end much before the delivery was bowled, triggering an age old ‘spirit of the game’ debate.

While what Ashwin did was well within the rules of the game, his new IPL team coach Ricky Ponting of the Delhi Capitals doesn’t agree with this particular mode of dismissal.

“Make it a free ball for the bowler. If the batsmen gets out of that ball, the batting team will be docked 5 runs. Free hit adds to the drama for a batter, let’s give a chance to the bowlers too,” Ashwin tweeted in response to Dinesh Karthik’s assertion that it was unfair to link the dismissal to spirit of the game or call it ‘Mankading’ as it is permitted by laws of the game.

“As of now everyone watches the game hoping that ‘the bowlers will get smacked today’,” the off-spinner said.

His suggestion is similar to the concept of free hit, which allows the batsmen to score the maximum without the fear of being dismissed if the bowler delivers a front-foot no ball.

When a twitter user asserted that the game is primarily for batsmen, Ashwin retorted, “Then take the run out on your chin and stay in!!!!”.

What followed after Ashwin’s tweet was a discussion on his timeline with former India cricketers WV Raman, S Badrinath, Rohan Gavaskar and commentator Harsha Bhogle providing their opinion on the issue.

“Echoing the famous line of Eli Wallach, ‘when you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk’. Similarly, ‘when you have to stay in the crease, stay in, don’t walk out’,” Raman said quoting from Hollywood classic ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’.

Gavaskar Jr, whose father has been one of the staunchest critics of the term “Mankading”, said that spirit of the game is a vague term.

“I think ‘spirit of the game’ is so vague. Is it in the spirit of the game to not walk when one knows he/she is out or to appeal to dismiss a batter when one knows he/ she is not out? It’s not – yet that is accepted and practised by nearly everybody,” Rohan said.

Rohan also feels that a lot of bowlers shy away from running out batsmen backing up too far as it invites a backlash.

“My feeling is that more bowers don’t do it because of the backlash that it creates …the negative publicity and the drama.”

Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore, however, feels that ‘Mankading’ is a “harsh” dismissal and docking runs can be tried out.

“Rules vs. spirit cannot settle the issue. To me, Mankading dismissal is too harsh & jarring to everyone. So change rule? Reduce a run like in the case of ‘one short’? Would that be fair?,” Mysore tweeted.

Bhogle wants the rule to be simplified where it clearly states that batsmen should stay inside the crease.

“I think the rule should be simple and take away any subjective element like ‘normal delivery position’ and just say ‘non-striker stays in till the ball is released’,” the celebrated commentator said.

However, Karthik had a counter-argument. He said that TV umpires can check if batsmen are backing up too far and no runs could be allowed.

“…the cameras used to see the no ball can be used to monitor this. No runs allowed for that delivery, ball is legitimate and dismissal accepted.”

Badrinath, who has played for India in 2010-11 and was an integral part of Chennai Super Kings in the early years of the IPL, said the dismissal should stay but shouldn’t be called ‘Mankading’.

“…the batsman leaves crease early because he is 1) ignorant of the rule, 2) careless 3) taking unfair advantage, so only thing they need to change is the name Mankading.”

Sunil Narine reported for suspect action at IPL

Abu Dhabi: Kolkata Knight Riders’ West Indian spinner Sunil Narine has been reported for a suspect action during his team’s IPL clash against Kings XI Punjab here and another such instance could lead him to being barred from bowling in the league.

The 32-year-old picked up two wickets in his four overs during the match on Saturday, which KKR won by two runs defending 165.

“The report was made by the on-field umpires according to the IPL’s Suspected Illegal Bowling Action Policy. Mr Narine will be placed on the Warning List and is permitted to continue to bowl in the tournament,” read a statement from the IPL.

“Another report will result in Mr. Narine being suspended from bowling in the Dream11 IPL 2020 until cleared by the BCCI Suspect Bowling Action Committee,” it added.

In 2015, Narine served suspension from bowling in international cricket after his action was declared illegal by the ICC. But he was cleared to bowl in all formats in 2016 after undergoing corrective measures.

“After action correction, he has lost much of his sting as a bowler. Who knows may be it was desperation that he chucked in the last two games where KKR virtually won from nowhere. If he is smart enough, he won’t bowl those deliveries,” an IPL source told on conditions of anonymity.

His action was also reported during the 2018 Pakistan Super League but was cleared eventually.

Narine sharpened his batting skills after being reported multiple times.

However, in the last two IPL games, he has been very difficult to pick as Prabh Simran Singh and Nicholas Pooran found out at the death. He finished with 2 for 28 winning a near impossible match for his team.

KKR outwit Delhi Capitals by 3 wickets in low-scoring IPL encounter

Nitish Rana kept his calm in a tricky chase as Kolkata Knight Riders kept their play-off hopes alive with a three-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals in a low-scoring

IPL

contest, here on Tuesday.

The KKR bowlers made optimum use of the slow Sharjah track to restrict Delhi Capitals to 127 for nine.

T20 specialist Rana (36 not out) and seasoned Sunil Narine (21 off 10 balls) went after inexperienced Lalit Yadav in the 14th over and also attacked seasoned Kagiso Rabada in the 16th over to tilt the game in KKR’s favour.

The loss would be a nice wake-up call for DC, who remain second in the table with 16 points even as KKR consolidated their fourth spot with 10 points.

On a relaid Sharjah track where run-scoring was difficult, DC did well enough till the 13th over when KKR were struggling at 76 for 4.

However Rishabh Pant had by then finished Ravichandran Ashwin’s (1/24 in 4 overs) quota and had to rely on Lalit Yadav’s fast off-breaks.

Rana used the long handle with two huge sixes as 20 came off that over.

In the 16th over, it was Narine, who launched into Rabada and got 21 runs which put KKR in the driver’s seat and despite some late jitters, Rana with a slashed boundary off Anrich Nortje finished the match in style.

Earlier, the KKR bowlers justified skipper Eoin Morgan’s decision to put Delhi into bat as the ball was stopping before coming onto the bat.

For Delhi Capitals, only Steve Smith (39) and skipper Rishabh Pant (39) could cross the 30-run mark as run-scoring looked a difficult task. Not a single six was hit during the entire innings.

Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan (24) hit five boundaries in quick time as he converted a lot of balls into half volleys before Venkatesh pouched him at point of Lockie Ferguson.

After the Powerplay, DC were 39 for one but it soon became 40 for two, as Sunil Narine (2/18) castled Shreyas Iyer (1) in the seventh over.

Then Pant joined Smith and both found scoring difficult as there was no pace off the track and the balls were not really coming onto the bat.

Varun Chakravarthy (0/24) as usual was steady while Narine (2/18) also payed his part.

Smith tried changing gears and hammered successive fours in the 10th over off Chakravarthy, as Delhi got 12 from that over.

The Australian then slog swept Narine and was looking in his element when Ferguson pegged back Delhi by castling Smith as they slipped to 77/3.

Kolkata then grabbed three quick wickets, as Shimron Hetmyer (4), Lalit Yadav (0), who was trapped in front by Narine, and Axar Patel (0) too perished cheaply as Delhi was teetering at 92/6.

With Pant failing to up the ante, Venkatesh (2/29) bowled really well in the back-10 mixing it up nicely at a speed of nearly 130 kmph which is certain to keep Hardik Pandya on tenterhooks, if not in coming days, then definitely in coming months.

Pant became the leading run-scorer for Delhi Capitals surpassing Virender Sehwag.

Mumbai Indians knocked out of Indian Premier League despite win over SRH

Mumbai Indians beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 42 runs in their final league fixture here on Friday but still failed to qualify for the

IPL

play-offs. MI made 235 for nine in their must-win match against SRH.

Ishan Kishan smashed 84 off 32 balls and Suryakumar Yadav 82 off 40 balls.

MI, who had to beat SRH by 171 runs or more to leapfrog Kolkata Knight Riders on the points table and qualify for the play-offs, could only limit Hyderabad outfit to 193 for eight in a high-scoring game.

Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 235/9 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 82, Ishan Kishan 84; Jason Holder 4/52) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad 193/8 in 20 overs (Manish Pandey 69 not out; Jasprit Bumrah 2/39)