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BCCI may have to shell out more for terror cover
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MUMBAI/KOLKATA: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may have to shell out more to secure a Rs 400-crore terror cover for Indian Premier League’s 61 Twenty20 matches, after the terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore raised the risk perception associated with the game in India.

Government-owned Oriental Insurance Company (OIC), which is said to have won the deal, is likely to renegotiate the bid. “We have submitted our bid, but we may have to reconsider it, given the circumstances,” said Neeraj Kumar, general manager of Oriental Insurance Company.

IPL has already accepted Oriental’s bid, which is said to be of around Rs 18 lakh, said a person privy to the negotiations between IPL and the insurer on condition of anonymity. The terror cover is from match to match and is taken by IPL to ensure that the commercial interests of the broadcasters are not affected. However, Mr Kumar said the insurer has not received any payment.

Given the size of the cover, the company will need to buy reinsurance from international market to protect its balance sheet. After the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers on Monday, the risk perception has gone up and reinsurers are likely to hike their charges.

“We are lining up reinsurance support for cover that will be provided to BCCI for the IPL matches. Our officials are in talks with offshore reinsurers and the General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC),” said a senior OIC official working on the deal, requesting anonymity. “Following the recent attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team, BCCI thought it fit to buy the standalone terror cover for all IPL matches,” the official added.

Reinsurance is bought by insurers to hedge a portion of their risks. In case of a claim, the reinsurer pays a chunk based on the proportion of the risk the reinsurer has bought.

The latest development comes amid speculation that BCCI may write to the home ministry that it will not be able to call off the IPL tournament at this stage. The first IPL match is on April 10. In all, 61 matches will be played, including the final. This pegs the cover for each match at roughly Rs 6.55 crore. This is higher than last year’s insurance deal, where every match was insured for Rs 4 crore against cancellation, although there was no specific terror cover.

Seven matches each will be played in Jaipur, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore and Mohali. Another five are scheduled in Hyderabad. Chennai will host nine matches, including the semi-finals. Mumbai, where the finals will be held, will host eight.

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