Co-owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Punjab Kings, Ness Wadia said that it is time for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow IPL teams to play in exhibition games overseas in the offseason.
Wadia said that doing so will only popularize what is an already strong brand of the IPL in foreign markets, making it more lucrative. The IPL emerged as a global brand after the bidding for two teams last month fetched more than USD 1.5 billion and attracted bids even from the Manchester United owners who eventually lost out to RPSG Group and CVC Capital Partners, the owners of Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchise respectively.
Wadia was not surprised by the humongous amount of money being poured into the IPL, as he said constant innovation is the need of the hour in any business and he is confident that the BCCI will continue to break new barriers.
That Will Grow The IPL Even More: Ness Wadia On Off-Season IPL Games In Foreign Countries
The Rajasthan Royals had played a couple of off-season games in England during the formative years of the Indian Premier League under the tutelage of captain Shane Warne. However, the tight international schedules of Indian and other marquee foreign players have kept other IPL ventures from being materializing.
“The BCCI must consider having off season matches to be held in places where there is a big Indian diaspora. That will grow the IPL even more. A bunch of three or five games in the off season based on player availability. Hypothetically, allow the top four franchisees every year to play a few games in, for example, Miami or in Toronto or in Singapore. It will only strengthen what already is a strong product,” said Wadia.
After the huge investment of the IPL team auction, BCCI is set to pocket double the USD 2.5 billion it earned from the broadcasting rights in the previous cycle. The 2023-2027 cycle could fetch as much as USD 5 billion and Wadia is also confident of the IPL drawing that number.
Wadia said the IPL finally got its due. “I don’t think the numbers are mindboggling. Sport is big business now. It is a good investment. The league truly deserves it. These are serious businessmen we are talking about. They invest in things with a purpose. It has taken us 14 years to reach where the league deserves to be. I am happy that it has finally happened.”
The IPL 2022 will be a ten-team tournament with a mega auction scheduled in December or January that might see many of the big stars going under the hammer.