NEW DELHI : The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) may be working to finalize keeping the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India, but the IPL franchises have made clear their preference for India.

People familiar with the cricket business in India said it could be because sponsors like matches to be played in the country for promotion and brand activation reasons. Venky Mysore, CEO and Managing Director of Kolkata Knight Riders, said he fully supports the idea of ​​bringing IPL back to India after a two-year hiatus. “To stage it in a city like Mumbai which has at least three international quality pitches and, possibly, Pune, will also balance health and safety requirements and be a welcome move. If the Covid situation improves and having the admins allow viewers to some to some extent would make it even more enjoyable.”

Another team owner, Parth Jindal, Director of JSW Sports, who currently manages the Delhi-based IPL Delhi Capitals team, said that different countries are hosting their own sports leagues in their countries with proper covid protocols in place. “It’s Indian Premier League not international and it should stay here,” Jindal said.

According to a sports marketing executive, the clamor to hold the league matches at home is more for emotional reasons than commercial ones. “The bio bubbles and the ban on spectators in stadiums leave no room for sponsor promotions, meet and greets with players or the sale of merchandise. So it doesn’t matter where the matches are as the majority of the money will come from TV sponsorship,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

However, Indian cricketers are more comfortable playing at home as the pitches are familiar, he added.

Last Saturday, BCCI held a meeting with the post of IPL team which BCCI secretary Jay Shah said that the 15th season of IPL will start in the last week of March and will continue until the at the end of May. Shah said a majority of team owners have expressed their desire for the tournament to be held here and BCCI is keen to hold the 2022 edition which will see two new teams – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – in India. Team owners have a choice of India, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

“I can tell you that we will spare no effort to ensure that IPL remains in India. BCCI has not compromised on the health and safety of its stakeholders in the past and will be working on plan B concurrently ever since. the COVID-19 situation with the new variants remain fluid. The IPL Mega Auction will take place on February 12-13 and we will lock down the venues before then,” Shah said.

Sports expert Joy Bhattacharjya, who is also vice president of Baseline Ventures India, a sports marketing, brand licensing and athlete representation company, said the teams and organizers both have sponsors and that just having the players in India gives them a bit more opportunity to do things here. . However, he said that BCCI in the past failed to maintain the bubble in India and hence IPL had to be moved outside.

“They (BCCI) will want to fix that and prove they can do it here. The big concern, though, that I have is that the bubble worked very well the first time because it was very strict. big problem now could be that the systems in India can break down in a situation where they can be manipulated,” Bhattacharjya added.A sports marketing expert, speaking on condition of anonymity, said BCCI was actively considering plan B apart from India to be on the safe side and might consider South Africa.

But JSW’s Jindal said: “For many of us, we want to be in India because why should we give any other cricket board (like UAE, for example) that kind of power. There’s a lot more excitement about the IPL here,” he added. Mint has also contacted Indians of Mumbai and Kings of Punjab but received no response till press time.

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