Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians (MI) had planned to promote the tournament in the United States but the idea has been rejected by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) – the Supreme Court-appointed body that runs the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The Mumbai Indians are the current champions of the popular T20 tournament and have won the title four times — the most by any franchise.
The idea was on lines of top football clubs that travel to various Asian countries before a season kicks off to not only promote the game but also to expand their fan bases. But the CoA hasn’t bought the idea and it was not well received by many either.
If allowed to play in the US, MI was keen to share the revenue earned
A report in India Today said that sources close to the developments told agencies that it was unfortunate to see a franchise’s effort in spreading awareness about a tournament like the IPL and boost its following was nullified by the CoA.
“Since Mumbai Indians participate in a BCCI tournament, they must take written permission if they are looking at any such move. Mumbai Indians’ idea was to promote brand IPL and the game in the US and also to develop a new market for the game. The team would have headed to the US and also play a few games with local teams so as to attract cricket lovers in the region and get them up close and personal with their favourite stars,” India Today cited reports as quoting the source.
“In fact, MI was also keen to share any revenue earned in the process. The IPL clause says that if you as a franchise play outside of the tournament, any revenue earned is to be shared. MI had no problem with that as the idea was to take the game to more homes and increase the fan base.”
The Indians even asked the CoA to give them a window as per their own suitability. Since cricket is not too a popular game in the US, the franchise wanted to experiment and see how it could pay the game back, the source added.
It said that selling tickets weren’t the main idea but to promote the brand and the game in the region. It added that the IPL is a global brand in cricket-playing nations but it still has to make a space for itself in new regions.
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