The BCCI has asked Cricket South Africa (CSA) to give the in-stadia facilities in South Africa without any encumbrance as it looks to shift the Pepsi IPL-VII to the Rainbow nation in April-May.
BCCI officials who are in dialogue with CSA said that South African provinces may have pouring rights arrangement with different beverage companies and hence it would directly clash with the commercial interest of Pepsi which began its five-year title sponsorship of the IPL last year.
The IPL-Pepsi agreement is worth Rs. 396 crore, almost double the sum that DLF paid for the first five years. Presently CSA has an agreement with Coca Cola.
When general elections in 2009 compelled the BCCI to move the IPL, a designated domestic tournament, to South Africa, the eight-team league and knock-out matches were played at Johannesburg, Centurion, Durban, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Kimberley, East London and Cape Town.
“The IPL did not have a pouring partner in 2009 and hence there was no clash of interest. Now we have Pepsi as the title sponsor and this matter needs to be resolved first,’’ said the BCCI official.
South Africa is the clear choice of the team owners, not only because the excellent facilities that the many venues there offer to the stakeholders, but also because of a potentially high response from fans there that can maximise gate receipts.
The BCCI and IPL officials are very hopeful of settling the pouring rights matter with CSA and are also keen on negotiating costs with them.
It is understood that CSA is likely to make a presentation to the BCCI and IPL by end of this month. The International Management Group (IMG) that virtually runs the IPL, has already done a recce of South Africa, venues at the United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dabhi and Sharjah), Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
It is possible that another country, keen to stage the IPL-VII may also make a presentation.