IPL franchises propose to play off-season matches in US, Canada, Singapore

Written by N Krishnamurthy

There isn’t long left before the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season begins and franchises have already started making plans for their pre-season assignments. While every team has a different thought process as far as the preparation for the new season goes, some are eager to travel abroad and play cricket with helping the league become more popular in non-cricketing nations being the larget objective.

A report in the Times of India suggests that the likes of Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals have asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to let them play abroad during the off-season. The Indian board, however, hasn’t given an official take on the subject yet.

“Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals — they’ve all shown interest in playing abroad during the off-season (when IPL is not on). The BCCI refuses to even take it up officially, despite the GC discussing it in the recent past,” the report suggested

One of the franchise owners highlighted how playing IPL matches during the off-season can help the league and the sport gain more popularity in non-cricketing nations.

“It will only help the IPL grow outside of India, especially in USA, Canada, Singapore and other non-cricketing countries. We can understand that playing in full-member countries is not possible, but why not otherwise?” the owner says.

The move to play abroad wouldn’t just help the IPL franchises but also the BCCI who gets a 20% share of their earnings. There’s no rule, at present, which can force the franchises to not play off-season games outside the country.

“Why not further the business plan and help franchises become international brands? It’s a win-win,” an executive of a different franchise said.

“As long as two or more IPL franchises are not playing between each other overseas, nothing stops them,” say TOI sources.

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N Krishnamurthy