Indian cricket finds itself in a state of turbulence these days, with the Virat Kohli-led team losing spectacularly to Australia in the first Test and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) being locked in a battle with the International Cricket Council (ICC), aside from the Supreme Court of India imposing sweeping reforms on the cash-rich association.
These circumstances have led to Star India backing out from entering a bid for the Indian cricket team's jersey sponsorship rights after their four-year deal with the Board ends in March this year. Star India, which is also the holder of broadcast, internet and mobile rights for Indian cricket till 2018, added that the commitments associated with it are "too onerous without any clarity", according to an interview published in The Times of India.
"We have been very proud that our name is carried on the jersey of Team India. But given all the uncertainties, we have decided not to bid for it again. The commitments being asked for are too onerous without any clarity," Star India chairman and CEO Uday Shankar was quoted as saying in the report.
Star India entered a four-year deal for the Indian team's jersey rights with the BCCI in December 2013, according to ESPNCricinfo. The deal brought an end to Sahara's 12-year association with the Board in the capacity.
Additionally, Shankar also commented on the ongoing tussle between the BCCI and the ICC, as well as the former's possibility of pulling out of the Champions Trophy, to be held later this year. Shankar went on to say that India losing its power in world cricket would be a disaster for the sport.
"If India doesn't participate in the Champions Trophy it would be bad for the tournament. But if India lose their voice or even if they are not playing a leading role, it would be disastrous for global cricket. The country that delivers the largest share of fans and also the largest share of money in global cricket should have a say in the critical affairs of the game."