Lalit Modi mulling two IPLs in a year

May 23rd, 2009 - 7:29 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 23 (IANS) After the success of Indian Premier League (IPL) on foreign soil, chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi is now planning to host two Twenty20 leagues in a year.
Modi said that he is exploring the possibility of a second and shorter IPL in untapped markets of US and Canada while the main tournament will be based in India.

He said that hosting the IPL in South Africa has shown that there is huge opportunity for the shortest version of the game and markets of US and Canada will be ideal to globalise cricket.

Modi’s similar plans were shot down last year by then Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sharad Pawar, who felt that another IPL in a year could cramp the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) calendar.

But after IPL’s success in South Africa, Modi’s grand plans can take shape.

“The IPL will be based in India, but the second season we are planning gives us the chance to see if a market exists and we are seriously looking at what we can do with it. America throws up challenges but the format we have developed works. It is an opportunity for families to spend a day out. Apart from watching great cricket they have an enjoyable evening out. That will work anywhere,” Modi was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

“Before this tournament we did not know if we could do it. But we do know now. We have to satisfy an appetite across the world and build a fan base across the world.

“We will talk to the England and Wales Cricket Board, and South Africa are natural allies who want us to come back every year. The public and the boards want us but it is not realistic to come back to the same place every year,” he said.

Modi’s comments come at a time when other countries are finding it tough to hold back players, who are preferring IPL riches to national duty.

Modi said that the IPL has turned the challenges and adversities in moving to South Africa into an opportunity.

“It is fans who determine if you are successful or not and they have come out in force here. It has shown that the tournament can be in any region, in any country. This opens up many different opportunities for us,” Modi said.

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