The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has approved a sum of up to Rs 10 crore to support India’s upcoming Olympic Games campaign in Tokyo.

The BCCI apex council, attended by board president Sourav Ganguly, sanctioned the proposal in the meeting on Sunday after earlier receiving a request from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

About 100 athletes from India, including members of the hockey men’s and women’s teams, have qualified for Tokyo 2020. A few more are expected to make the cut in the coming weeks.

While most are preparing for the Games in India, some are abroad, participating in competitions or training. The Indian shooting contingent is currently in Croatia, with two members training in Italy. Wrestling’s medal hopes Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat are in Europe, as is javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.

Out of the allotted Rs 10 crore, Rs 2.5 crore will go towards the preparations of Indian athletes for the Olympics while Rs. 7.5 crore will be invested in the marketing and promotions in the lead-up to the mega event. The Tokyo Olympics starts on July 23 and goes on till August 8.

“The BCCI has always been supportive of India’s sporting movement. We are happy to help the national sports fraternity,” an apex council member told Sportstar. “The liquid component will be utilised for logistical requirements of the contingent whereas the remaining funds will be used to create a buzz for the Olympic campaign.”

The BCCI office-bearers also briefed the selected state associations about extending their support to the Olympic contingent. 

“We were told that since the BCCI constitution doesn’t allow more than Rs 2.5 crore to be released as liquid cash for such a cause, the remaining amount will be directed towards the agencies that will run the marketing campaign,” the apex council member explained.

Featured photo : Indranil Mukherjee / AFP