UAE was host to some IPL matches in 2015 Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: The Indian Premier League (IPL) wants to expand the world’s most successful Twenty20 competition into other countries, including the UAE.

IPL chariman Rajeev Shukla said that it was doing “wonderfully well” and, after English football’s Premier League, it had become the world’s most important domestic sporting tournament. “Now we are planning to take it overseas to places like Dubai, the UK and also America,” he said.

Alternative venue

The UAE which has been hosting the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for three years now, held the first leg of IPL in 2015 when the tournament clashed with the parliamentary elections in India. An official at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said they might have to again shift some IPL matches to the UAE when India goes to the polls in 2019. The 12th edition of the IPL will be held from March 29 to May 19 next year.

“We will only take a call when the situation arises, but we are ready for any such eventuality. The UAE looks to be the most likely country where it would be shifted if need be,” a senior BCCI official told an Indian news agency on the condition of anonymity.

Wealthiest league

IPL is one of the wealthiest leagues in the world across sport. According to industry figures, each IPL match earns about $8.5 million.

An average Premier League match is watched by more than 12 million people around the world.

The 2017 IPL final drew almost 40 million viewers – in a country of 1.25 billion population, according to broadcasting surveys. Neither can compete with the National Football League (NFL) in the United States, which regularly tops 20 million viewers per match.