The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rejected Mumbai Indians’ plea to play few friendly matches with two other IPL sides in the US this August and September. This request was formally sent by the franchise after the end of IPL in May but it is learned that the BCCI has refused to give the permission.
However, BCCI officials are found noncommittal about this issue, but it was learned that BCCI has taken a decision on this use during its annual conclave in Dharamsala last month.
The US, with a high presence of Indian diaspora, is a lucrative market for Indian cricket. In 2015 Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Watson’s All-Star Cricket was embraced by the Indian people in the United States. Since then the USA is being considered as a big market for cricket.
The Mumbai Indian’s plan was that a few matches will be played in the US against two other IPL sides like Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Supergiants. There was an also talk with Kolkata Knight Riders but it was not sure whether they confirmed the participation.
It was expected the tournament could have taken just after India’s tour of West Indies next month. It was suggested that the players would fly from the Carribean late August to take part in the matches in the US cities like Houston, Miami, and New York.
The BCCI in the past has suggested that the franchises were free to play matches against associate countries but there was never a decision to allow the franchises to play among them. The other factor may be the plan to host day Duleep Trophy games with the pink ball during late August and early September for which the BCCI wanted all the top players. An American trip would have spoiled their preparation.
So all these factors helped BCCI to reject Mumbai Indians’ plea to play in the US.