IPL 2021 Remaining matches: With no pandemic insurance cover, ‘BCCI to bear full loss if IPL shelved due to Covid-19’

IPL 2021 Remaining matches: With no pandemic insurance cover, 'BCCI to bear full loss if IPL shelved due to Covid-19'
IPL 2021 Remaining matches: With no pandemic insurance cover, 'BCCI to bear full loss if IPL shelved due to Covid-19'

IPL 2021 Remaining matches – No Pandemic Insurance to hit BCCI, IPL hard: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and franchises are staring at a massive loss if the remaining matches of the Indian Premier League are not concluded. With 31 of 60 matches remaining, for BCCI IPL 2021 Phase 2 is a must otherwise they are staring at a massive loss over Rs 2,500 crore. Same is the case for other stakeholders i.e franchises & broadcaster Star Sports. None of the stakeholder has a pandemic related insurance cover and that will hit them very hard.

The IPL 14 was suspended after multiple Covid-19 cases were reported from inside the bubble. According to the information available with InsideSport.co, BCCI tried their best to get pandemic related Insurance Cover before IPL 2021 – but no insurance company agreed to cover IPL 2021 on this account.

“Our team tried there best to cover themselves on this account, but no insurance company was ready to cover us against the pandemic. In-fact no global company at this stage is offering such a cover”, said one of BCCI official.

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“BCCI does not have any insurance cover for IPL. If it gets shelved due to the pandemic, they will have to bear the losses and the insurance company will not be liable for any refund,” a leading Sports Insurance Consultant told InsideSport.co

IPL 2021 Remaining matches: What does BCCI’s current insurance policy say?

As per BCCI’s current insurance cover for IPL, the insurance company will be liable to refund the losses under certain conditions. There are nearly seven clauses under which BCCI can recover their losses from the insurance company. The most common out of them is the ‘adverse weather/climate’ clause’. Under this, if a match or a league, is cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, BCCI can avail the refund. The six other conditions are —

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  • Riots or Bandh/ Strikes
  • National or State Mourning
  • Non-appearance of a team — If a team could not reach the venue due to riots amongst other things, only BCCI can apply for insurance.
  • Terrorist attack or threat of terrorism
  • Fire perils
  • Act of God (natural disasters)

IPL 2021 Remaining matches: But is the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic not an ‘Act of God’?

While to the common man, Covid-19 is an ‘Act of God’, for the insurance company, the pandemic is an extension of it. However, BCCI does not have this extension in their insurance policy for IPL 2021. Since April 2020, the insurance companies in India or globally have not been offering it as an add-on.

“There used to be an add-on for pandemic earlier, but in 2020 the insurance companies decided to remove it. BCCI had one in their 2019-20 annual insurance policy, which was applicable during the South Africa tour of India in March. However, they did not get one for this IPL,” the expert said adding, “in fact even communicable disease, which was once an add on, has been removed.”

 

IPL 2021 Remaining matches: What happens to players’ salaries then?

Although the players might have to wait a while before their dues are cleared, they are likely to receive full salaries as insured and, therefore, to be paid in full. Out of the three, the last two instalments comprising IPL player salaries are reserved for the end of the tournament and the end of the calendar year in which the tournament takes place. Since both conditions are yet to be fulfilled, it essentially means players part of the IPL have only been paid 1/3rd of their due salary so far.

However, if IPL 2021 remaining matches could not be conducted, franchisees will have to bear the cost of salaries from their own pocket as the insurance policy won’t cover it. Hence, one can expect the franchises to take a tough call and issue pay cuts.

Another aspect to consider is IPL salaries for injury-enforced absences. This was due to a Player Insurance policy introduced by the BCCI in 2011, which ensures centrally contracted players are eligible for compensation if they miss the IPL due to an injury or accident. While this amount is adjusted depending on the IPL contract amount and the number of games a player misses, Iyer was eligible for full compensation since he was injured on national duty.

The Daily Mail reported on similar lines, revealing that Ben Stokes will receive his full IPL salary of INR 12.5 crore despite playing just one game this season. The England all-rounder had to fly back after fracturing his finger in his first IPL 2021 game. Ben Stokes and all other players will be paid due to insurance policies taken out by IPL franchises to cover them in the event of injury.

“This is BCCI’s and the franchises biggest loss. Earlier, they could claim insurance for it. But now, they will have to bear all the cost in case IPL Phase 2 does not resume,” the expert said.

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