The Board of Control for Cricket in India is now pondering over holding a mini-Indian Premier League abroad in September this year.
According to the latest report from The Times of India, while BCCI is planning to start a mini-IPL, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is also eyeing the same slot considering the Champions League was scrapped.
“It can be a great testing ground for what is possible in terms of reaching out to the Indian fan base abroad.It can be made financially viable if a market like the US is explored. Frankly, if the broadcaster finds it appealing then a lot of things fall into place,” a source close to developments told the national daily.
Therefore, it remains to be seen whether BCCI can succeed with their plan as ICC seriously considering a new tournament during that time.
BCCI has been monitoring the September slot since 2014, when the loss-making T20 Champions League was scrapped- which BCCI owned along with its Australian and South African counterparts. Last year also BCCI was very much interested in holding a mini-IPL, involving all the existing franchises in IPL, but had to postpone the idea after the board marred with the crisis because of internal tussles and legal battles.
Now, with BCCI preparing to toe the Supreme Court’s line, the idea of coming with a mini-IPL is yet again gaining some serious momentum.
The IPL broadcast rights are right now with Sony-ESPN and BCCI as per contracts have to offer them the first right of refusal when the contract will be up for renewal in 2017-18. But the rights to broadcast matches of the Indian cricket team are held by Star India. The Lodha Panel has recently made a recommendation that there would be no advertisements telecast between overs. If this is implemented, the BCCI are on the verge of suffering a huge financial hit.
A mini-IPL abroad could help generate some much-needed revenue and the broadcast rights could be handed to Star to assuage it for the losses forced by restrictions on ads.