IPL Final 2022 (Image Credits: Twitter)
IPL Final 2022 (Image Credits: Twitter)

Lancashire chief executive Daniel Gidney has said that they want an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise to play an exhibition match against Lancashire at the Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. He also said that they are trying to accelerate already existing India links

Young India spin-bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar has travelled to the United Kingdom to play the LV= Insurance County Championship games and the Royal London Cup for Lancashire.

Washington Sundar
Photo Credit: (IPL)

Meanwhile, Gidney said that they are excited to see Sundar join Lancashire as he is considered the next big all-rounder in Indian cricket.

He said: “We’re really excited. Recently Ravi Shastri made a big call, saying he thinks that once Ravi Jadeja retires, Washington will be a very big allrounder in all three formats for India.

“That’s a big call to make on a player so young. But they [India] are clearly excited about him, and so are we. We’ll get him for some Championship and 50-over cricket, and he will be playing at Sedbergh, Blackpool and Emirates Old Trafford. He’s going to do a tour of the county, and he’ll get the full Lancashire experience. We can’t wait to have him.”

He added that they had signed up Indian middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, last season, but unfortunately he was not able to play for them after suffering a serious injury. He also talked about their links with India head coach Rahul Dravid and National Cricket Academy head VVS Laxman.

He added: “Shreyas Iyer got injured the day after we signed him for the One-Day Cup last year, which was obviously a blow. He’s now fully ensconced in all the Indian teams and is going to be a fantastic player.

“But Mark Chilton [Lancashire’s performance director] has developed a really good relationship with Rahul Dravid. They’ve had a lot of calls on the phone and through Teams and things, and Rahul’s been incredibly supportive. VVS Laxman is the head of the Indian Academy, which provides us with another link.”

I’ve met with Sourav Ganguly, who spoke fondly of his time at Lancashire – Daniel Gidney

Daniel Gidney
Image Source – Twitter

Gidney further said that he had met the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly, who spoke fondly of his time at Lancashire. Gidney added that they are trying to get an IPL team to play an exhibition game to accelerate India links.

“I’ve met with Sourav Ganguly, who spoke fondly of his time at Lancashire. You can also talk to Farokh Engineer, who is a fantastic advocate of Lancashire. The links have long been there, it’s just that we are trying to accelerate them now.”

“We’d love to get an IPL team over here to play a game at Emirates Old Trafford. That would be absolutely amazing and a huge thing for the club and our fans.”

Manchester hosted the 2019 Cricket World Cup game between India and Pakistan, where India won, and it proved incredibly successful. Daniel Gidney while talking about that match said that every Indian fan loved the game at the Old Trafford and they “want to become every Indian’s second team”. He asserted:

“It was after that India vs Pakistan game that we thought, ‘We really need to look east’. We started to think hard about how we were going to engage our Indian fans.

India Team and Pakistan Team
India Team and Pakistan Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

“You saw how much they loved that game, and we thought, ‘Do you know what? We need to make Emirates Old Trafford in-game and out-of-game exciting so that Indian fans want to come here and watch’. We want to become every Indian’s second team.

“At the moment, we are streaming all our games live on the Jio and FanCode Platforms in India. I think we are the only county to be doing that. Forty percent of our YouTube views are from India, so we are on a journey of engagement with our Indian audience. You have a population of 1.2 billion people who love their cricket. Why wouldn’t we do that?”

Lancashire had spent a week training at Reliance Park in Mumbai in February 2020, and Daniel Gidney said that the training camp in India was amazing.

“That training camp was amazing. We’d definitely like to do part of next season’s pre-season tour out in India, and we’re looking at that at the moment.”

“It’s something we’ll definitely look at. When Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone get picked up in the women’s IPL next year, I’ll get them to do some scouting for us!”

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