BCCI President Anurag Thakur has postponed the plans of having a mini Indian Premier League (IPL) in the USA, following the response that the T20 Internationals between India and West Indies received. The BCCI had floated their idea of conducting a mini IPL in the US in September at the IPL governing council and working committee meetings earlier this year. However, it was always to be subject to some approvals from franchises and broadcasters.
The notion behind the tournament was to fill the empty window in which India weren’t participating in any international cricket after their tour of West Indies until the New Zealand home series scheduled to begin on September 22.
Thakur said he predicted the time difference between there and India as a key obstacle given that games would have to begin at 10am on the east coast in order to be viewed in India, which would fail to draw in large crowds for games held mid-week. That in turn, would also limit their options of experimenting with venues across the large country.
“I think we must understand the time difference,” Thakur told ESPNcricinfo on Wednesday. “IPL is seen in India from 7 o’clock to 11 or 11.30 at night. So you have to play somewhere in the east coast here (USA) so [that] the timing matches. If we have to play in the day here, the matches should be seen in India at night because broadcasting is a big thing. So you can’t make your home fan lose [by] playing outside India. So which are the provinces you can play in United States? That’s a big task. IPL, we are not even thinking of hosting it outside India. It has to be hosted in India, but there are many other options what you can do which we’ll let you know over a period of time when we come out with a long-term plan for this market,” he added.
The BCCI, however, reiterated their intent of consolidating on targeting the US market with an annual T20I series in the country.