The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has prohibited all the teams playing in the upcoming Women’s Premier League (WPL) from signing deals with crypto-related advertisers. The federation has issued a 68-page advisory outlining the dos and don’ts for all the teams before the league goes live on March 4. The Indian authorities are concerned that these advertisements could expose viewers to financial risks. Along with crypto ads, those promoting gambling games and tobacco use have also been added to BCCI’s banned list.
“The franchisees may engage in partnerships with entities in the fantasy sports sector. No franchisee shall undertake a partnership or any kind of association with an entity that is in any way connected/related to an entity that is involved/operates, directly or indirectly, in the cryptocurrency sector,” PlanetSport quoted the BCCI as saying in its advisory.
Essentially, the WPL is the sister tournament of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) that started in 2008. This year will mark the first time that women cricket players from around the world, divided in five teams, will compete in a twenty-over format.
Australia’s Ash Gardner and England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt emerged as the most expensive foreign players chosen by WPL teams, going for Rs. 3.2 crore and Rs. 3.4 crore to Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians, respectively. Indian batter Smriti Mandhana was the most expensive player at the auction, going for Rs. 3.4 crore to Royal Challengers Bangalore. All-rounder Deepti Sharma was second most expensive Indian cricketer at the auction, going for Rs. 2.6 crore to UP Warriorz, while India captain Harmanpreet Kaur was snapped up by Mumbai Indians for Rs 1.8 crore.
Last year, the IPL teamed-up with Indian crypto exchanges CoinSwitch and CoinDCX, both of which promoted their platforms during the highly watched matches. Later, the BCCI banned crypto ads from featuring during the IPL as well.
India is working on formulating laws around the crypto sector. Under its ongoing G20 presidency, the country is working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to create crypto laws that would work on the global level.
The country has maintained a strict approach so far to protect its citizens from exposure to the volatile industry. Last year, India banned celebrities and influencers from signing deals with crypto-related companies.