Mini IPL abroad: Franchisees propose; Governing Council disposes

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The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) has temporarily shelved the proposal of multiple franchises wanting to play a “mini-league” or “friendlies abroad” as it would require a more detailed study of International Cricket Council’s Futures Tours Programme (FTP).

Amidst disappoint of not getting an IPL GC nod for their proposal to stage exhibition games abroad, IPL franchisees also have good news. Their talent from England for the next IPL season shall be available for the entire duration of the tournament.

It has been learnt that at least two franchises Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have long been exploring the possibilities of cashing in on their popularity amongst the Indian diaspora.

While the matter came up for discussion, a senior IPL governing council member said that “it’s been discussed and the matter has been filed”.

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“The issue of allowing IPL franchises to play ‘friendlies’ was also discussed in the meeting but a final call would be taken only after seeing the ICC Future Tours Programme,” he said.

“We have to check the FTP. We are looking at a small tournament or friendlies for the franchises. We are playing now in March, April and May and after that they have nothing. We want to popularise the game abroad as well, but we have to see the FTP and it is subject to that,” he added.

However, another GC member added that as of now the IPL constitution doesn’t allow franchisees to play against each other on foreign location.

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“IPL franchises can play a friendly against Somerset, Durham or Middlesex or Adelaide Strikers. That provision is there but there is no provision for two IPL teams playing friendlies abroad. For that, the modalities of broadcast rights need to be changed and it’s not an easy thing,” said the member.

“We can’t talk about the future but it is not happening right now. Also some of the bigger teams will not be able to avail their top India players, who will be on a 15-day break post IPL and then play the remainder of the bilateral T20s leading up to the World T20. Also, you need to factor in workload,” he said.

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