Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, believes that London is the sports capital of the world, and hosting a tournament like IPL will only add to its reputation. London in the past has hosted a string of huge sporting events like NFL, UCL Final, MLB, and Olympics.
Khan believes that hosting IPL will help in bringing a diverse audience together. The talks are reportedly said to already be in the early stages between Surrey and the BCCI. However, no news has come from the BCCI suggesting that this may happen anytime soon in the near future.
Sadiq Khan in a statement said “Surrey are speaking to teams in India and colleagues in the BCCI and IPL. The first step will be friendlies and exhibition matches. We want to get them going, maybe even this year if we make progress as we are doing with the pandemic. It has to be Covid-safe, of course. We have to bang the drum for our city, and sport is one way to do this.”
For a long time, Surrey has expressed a desire on hosting the IPL at the Oval, and now with the whole pandemic situation hosting IPL matches seems like a way to cover the losses incurred over the course of the last 12 months.
Surrey chairman recently told Daily Mail, “We would love to bring the IPL to London and other areas of England. We think that’s the silver bullet in terms of reaching a more diverse audience for cricket in this country. We could stage games in the same way Jacksonville Jaguars, for one, play legitimate NFL games in London. The windfalls that staging the Champions Trophy and World Cup provided for English cricket were huge and we see the IPL on that level.”
IPL has been played outside India on numerous occasions if there are problems in staging the tournament in India. The last campaign was entirely hosted by UAE due to the pandemic situation in India. Previously, South Africa had hosted the entire IPL in 2009.
ECB already trying to bring Indian stars to The Hundred
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been reportedly offered stakes in teams of The Hundred to IPL franchises and broadcast revenue in Asia to BCCI. The aim of these moves from ECB is to bring Indian cricketers to The Hundred. If this reported plan works out for ECB, then there is hope for IPL to completely take place in England in the future.