In a blockbuster revelation, England could become the venue for future IPL matches or fixtures. The development emerges as the England Cricket Board (ECB) aims to bridge the financial gap caused by the ongoing COVID-19. Amongst the many ideas to boost the industry is to invite the IPL teams to play in England grounds, beginning with exhibitions and Test venues thereafter.
The England Cricket Board is currently counting the loss incurred by them due to the COVID-19 outbreak, causing the matches to occur behind closed doors. The apex body of England’s cricket has likely sustained a loss of £200 million and had to slash around 62 jobs due to grim finances. The board is also likely to allow crowds back for sporting events from the 17th of May, with all the restrictions due to drop from the 21st of June.
Kia Oval Cheif or Surrey Chairman Richard Thompson said that they are open to bringing IPL to England as it will penetrate the diverse group of cricket lovers in the country. Thompson underlined that they could host the fixtures as they did for the NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars.
“We would love to bring the IPL to London and other areas of England. We think that’s the silver bullet in terms of reaching a more diverse audience for cricket in this country. We could stage games in the same way Jacksonville Jaguars, for one, play legitimate NFL games in London,” Thompson told Daily Mail.
Staging IPL could be worth 10s of millions to the English game: Richard Thompson
Richard Thompson believes that the same amount of money could come from IPL as it generated from hosting the Champions Trophy and World Cup in England. He thinks that since the nation has lost quite a lot of funds due to COVID-19, they have to come up with creative ways of bringing in revenue.
“The windfalls that staging the Champions Trophy and World Cup provided for English cricket were huge and we see the IPL on that level. This could be worth 10s of millions to the English game. We have all lost so much money through Covid that we have to be more creative and provide cricket that generates revenue you wouldn’t otherwise have made. That’s why I think IPL is a no-brainer,” he added.