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Modi's global vision gathers pace after US talks

The prospects of the IPL or Champions League matches being played in the United States took a step forward today after IPL commissioner Lalit Modi held talks with the CEO of USA Cricket Donald Lockerbie in Dubai.

The pair discussed a wide range of topics including developing cricket stadiums in the States and the possibility of USA Cricket bidding for future events including the Twenty20 Champions League.

The pair agreed to set up a working group and would meet again in May with Modi saying the IPL are confident of playing games in the US as early as 2011.

Modi was encouraged by the progress he had made with Lockerbie saying he was confident of taking the IPL to the US in the near future.

"The IPL has established itself as a truly global sporting league with its fans spanning the globe. The North American continent has emerged as the second largest market in terms of revenue and viewership for Indian cricket" said Modi.

"Our meeting with the team from USA Cricket was very encouraging and we are confident of taking the IPL to the USA in the near future. I have no doubt that with the presence of a strong and growing South Asian diaspora, cricket will soon become a popular sport in the USA." he added.

"USA Cricket has done a lot of good work ably led by Donald. This is validated by the fact that the ICC has invited Cricket USA to participate in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in Dubai"

Lockerbie said he shared Modi's views and was commited to finding away to host IPL games in the States. "Lalit and I share a common bond - whilst he was attending Duke University (Durham, NC) - I was coaching Track & Field at arch-rival University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill just eight miles away" Lockerbie said.

"He knows the American landscape and its competitive importance in the world to marketing any great product. The IPL is a powerful new product in the sports industry and we will work hard to see USA Cricket and the IPL succeed together and energize the growth of Cricket in our country" he added.

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