Modi wants to add second IPL season
With the Indian Premier League proving a smashing hit in its adopted home in South Africa, the organisers of the Twenty20 razzmatazz are mulling a second and shorter version of the event in the same calendar year at an overseas location.
IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi told 'The Daily Telegraph' that the success of the second IPL has prompted the organisers to explore untapped territories like United States and Canada and the League's Governing Council would discuss the issue after the tournament ends in Johannesburg on Sunday.
"The potential is huge," Modi said.
"We have 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 was quoted as saying by the daily.
The IPL mastermind made it clear that India would host the first season and it's only for the second season in the same calendar year that a foreign destination would be considered.
"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," Modi said.
"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," he said.
"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," Modi added.
Modi said the Indian cricket board (BCCI) would be in touch with its English and South African counterparts but ruled out the prospect of any country hosting back-to-back events.
"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."
While a second IPL in the same calendar year jeopardises Test cricket's survival, Modi beg to differ.
"People who say we cannot work alongside Test cricket just don't understand. You don't need everyone available all the time. You don't need all countries to be free. In England the Premier League runs at the same time as the Spanish and Italian leagues. We can do the same. They can run concurrently. To do that we must showcase and produce our own stars," Modi said.
"England are playing the West Indies now so those teams are out but not Australia, South Africa or uncapped England players. That is where the misunderstanding is taking place," he added.