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IPL Becomes World’s Biggest Sports Competition, Indians Stay Away From Overseas Competitions: Arun Dhumal | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: New IPL President Arun Dhumal sees cricket’s main T20 tournament becoming the world’s biggest sports competition in the next five years and says the board also has a clear vision of IPL for women.
Speaking to PTI, Dhumal spoke about his long-term plans for the IPL, why there cannot be more than 10 teams and why the BCCI is sticking to its old stance of not allowing Indian players to participate in overseas competitions.
IPL has become the second most valued sports league worldwide in terms of value per match after the media rights for the 2023-2027 cycle fetched a staggering Rs 48,390 crore.
While it has a much shorter period of time compared to soccer leagues such as EPL or the NFL in the United States, the IPL will likely have a two and a half month exclusive period consisting of up to 94 games with 10 teams.
Dhumal said constant innovation is the need of the hour and there is no reason why IPL cannot become the biggest sports league in the world.
“The IPL will be much bigger than it is and will be the number one sports league in the world,” Dhumal told PTI when asked how the BCCI plans to raise the bar for the crown jewel of Indian cricket.
Fans have contributed most to what the IPL has become, and Dhumal said there are plans to significantly improve their viewing experience.
“We are definitely looking at various innovations that can be brought to make it more fan-friendly. For those who watch it on TV and those who experience it in the stadium, we want them to have a better experience.
“If we can make the IPL schedule well in advance, people from all over the world can plan their trip accordingly. It should be value for money for the fans,” he said.
The BCCI mopped up more than Rs 12,000 crore by adding two new teams to the league, but the number is highly unlikely to go beyond 10, the IPL chief said.
In total, 74 games were played this season and in the new cycle, the number of games with existing teams could increase to 94.
“Teams only stay at 10. If you increase that, it becomes difficult to have the tournament in one sitting. We are looking at 74 games to start with for the first two seasons, then 84 and if things allow it maybe 94 in the fifth year of the media rights cycle, that it would itself be an event that would last long enough,” Dhumal said.
“We can’t compare ourselves to football and other sports leagues around the world, as the requirements for cricket are completely different. You can’t play on the same pitch for six months.”
The burgeoning T20 leagues around the world have pressured the BCCI to release its sought-after players for foreign tournaments. The IPL owners have bought all six teams in the all-new South African league and understandably want some Indian presence in the league.
Referring to both contracted and non-contracted players from India, Dhumal said the BCCI has no plans to change its existing policy to retain its players amid a hectic calendar.
“Basically this is BCCI’s decision that our contracted players cannot play for other leagues. Because so much cricket is happening. Taking into account their overall well-being, that decision has been made. Now we are sticking to that decision.
“Even the non-contracted players aspire to play for India,” he said.
However, the BCCI is very open to the longstanding request from IPL teams to take the tournament abroad by hosting a few exhibition games.
“With the Indian diaspora around the world, we would like to further extend the reach of this tournament, but it has to be timed well. That is very important. We will evaluate and when the time is right we will take it abroad. ”
“The international FTP is so tight that you have to look at player availability before going into that,” he said before wishing the two new leagues in South Africa and the UAE well.
The inaugural WIPL will be held in March next year with five teams, but the sales of teams have not yet taken place. There is sufficient interest to buy teams and the possibility exists that they operate from smaller centers in India.
“The way we are planning this women’s IPL is that we will have a new set of fans to the game. There are a lot of female fans who have added to the IPL fan base and this tournament will just add to that and a lot more would like to take up the sport as a profession, that was the idea behind the equal pay announcement (for female cricketers in India).
“Fans should come to the stadium in droves, whether we have the WIPL in rural areas or in the main city centers. We will evaluate that and call soon,” he said.
On the turnover forecast for the tournament, Dhumal added: “We are creating a new property and it has to be world class. We are not really concerned about the numbers.
“We’re working to make it one of the best women’s cricket tournaments in the world. What we’ve done in the IPL, we want to do with WIPL.”

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