Dubai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will soon be launching a mini edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) to be held overseas and the UAE will the be most favoured venue.
In an interview with Gulf News during the ICC Champions Trophy in Edgbaston, Rajeev Shukla, the Chairman of the IPL, said: “One concept that we are deliberating and considering is launching a mini edition of the IPL overseas. We have seen that there is huge attraction for IPL overseas. Earlier, we used to stage our Champions League T20 abroad and that slot is still vacant. We are thinking of a mini edition in that slot.”
When asked whether the UAE, which hosted the first leg of seventh edition of the IPL due to the 2014 general elections in India, will be considered as the venue, Shukla said categorically: “Dubai will be most favoured destination for the mini IPL.”
Over 250,000 people had watched the UAE leg of the IPL in 2014 with all games across Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi venues for two weeks being a sellout. Incidentally, the Pakistan Super League, which is being held in Dubai and Sharjah, has been reaping a profit of over $2 million each from its two editions here.
The IPL, meanwhile, have retained Vivo, the Chinese mobile company as title sponsors of league for five years from 2018 till 2022. Vivo’s bid of Rs2,199 crores sees a huge increase of 554 per cent from their previous bid.
Asked about how he perceives the next 10 years of the IPL, Shukla said: “The next 10 years are going to be interesting. We are changing the revenue sharing model. Earlier franchises took the license fee but now they will be sharing the revenue with the BCCI. Another important thing is about tenders for the broadcasters. In fact, broadcasters’ tenders will be out in July and we are expecting manifold rise in it.”
To a query as to whether there will be an increase in the number of teams in the coming editions, Shukla said: “So far we have decided for eight teams only, otherwise the season will get extended and that will be a problem. If we go for 10 teams, we will have to stage minimum 84 matches. However, the governing council will be considering it but so far the tender will be only for eight teams.”
In the 2017 edition, a total of 60 matches were held spread over a span of 47 days with Mumbai Indians winning the championship.
Shukla hailed the timing of the last IPL edition, which was held just before the Champions Trophy. “The Indian players had played in the IPL before the Champions Trophy and so they were already fit and were in rhythm. IPL also creates bonhomie among the players as they have been playing together for different teams.”