IPL 2012

IPL teams get nod to play Associates, Affiliates

Tariq Engineer

May 12, 2012

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

Kings XI Punjab celebrate the fall of Ajinkya Rahane, Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals, IPL, Mohali, May 5, 2012
According to a Kings XI Punjab official, the franchise has been contacted by countries like Canada and the USA to stage exhibition games there © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League

The BCCI's working committee has approved a proposal to allow IPL franchises to play a limited number of friendly matches in ICC Associate and Affiliate countries between June and August, subject to guidelines that the board will set down at a later date. While reactions have been muted given the lack of immediate clarity, the decision is being seen as a way for franchises to extend their visibility beyond the league's two-month window.

A board official told ESPNcricinfo that the decision arose out of a number of discussions the IPL governing body has been having with the franchises over the years.

The possibility of the franchises playing games outside the IPL was discussed at the franchise workshop held in Goa earlier this year, a franchise official said. The teams are eager to do so as it gives them a chance to generate more revenue while also helping them to build their fan bases, both in and outside India. One the problems the teams have faced in building fan loyalty is that the IPL season only lasts six weeks and so they struggle to keep their fans engaged the rest of the year. The more matches a team plays, the longer they can hold the interest of their fans.

Arvinder Singh, the chief operating officer of Kings XI Punjab, told ESPNcricinfo that they "are very happy to get this permission". According to him, Kings XI has been contacted by a number of Associate and Affiliate countries, such as Canada and the USA, to stage exhibition games in those countries. There has also been interest from the UK and the West Indies. CEO of the Delhi Daredevils franchise, Amrit Mathur, was also pleased by the development. "It is good for brand promotion and for fan engagement," he said. "It is a major step forward."

While the details of the number of matches, their locations and the modes of funding are still to be decided, some of the franchises envisage being able to organise their own series of matches, either against an Affiliate country's national side or against local teams from that country. There is precedent for IPL teams playing matches in other countries. In July 2009, Rajasthan Royals, then the IPL's defending champions, played the Middlesex Panthers, then the reigning English Twenty20 champions, in the British Asian Cup.

In February, 2010, Royals announced plans to create the first global sport alliance as they joined forces with Hampshire, Cape Cobras, and Trinidad and Tobago to form a worldwide Twenty20 brand. The Australian domestic Twenty20 champions, Victoria Bushrangers, were also believed to be close to confirming their participation in the venture. However, the BCCI's decision to terminate Royals later the same year effectively ended that enterprise, though Royals were able to fight their way back into the IPL through the courts.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by smudgeon on (May 14, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

@Riverlime - try getting AFL's hands off the MCG during September!

Posted by riverlime on (May 13, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

@Meety, September would suit every country, even India (the monsoon is tapering off by then). Furthermore, the CLT20 could be held at the ICC headquarters in Dubai every October, to centralise the game and to take the power away from individual Boards, and inject some much-needed impartiality to the tournament.

Posted by JustIPL on (May 13, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

Now Indian talent may become punching bag of the associates as well. Team selected through auctions dont ensure that they are the best players. Maintaining India A, B, C can be a good idea so that new talent if any can be focused. BCCI is underestimating thee associates like they did against Windies before the whitewashes.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Great move by BCCI! There is a gr8 market for cricket in the US. Cricket would become more globalised. And IPL and T20 is the right format to promote. Ppl in the US dont have enough time to waste 5 days for a Cricket match ;) .That is where Cricket lost out to Baseball in early 20th century.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (May 13, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

If the ICC are serious about the development of the associates then more games like the one played in Dubai against Eng should be arranged and the stronger sides like Ireland & Afghanistan should be playing regular 4 day first class games against the likes of Aus A, Ind A & Eng Lions, not T20 tip and run games against IPL franchises which will just be a vehicle for IPL to make more money.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (May 13, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

This will potentially do further damage to NZL and in particular WI cricket. WI are already in a position where they cannot pick many of their better players wen the IPL is being played, does this now mean the likes of pollard, Bravo and Russel will not be available from Jun - Aug as well! If so I really do fear for the future of the WI team.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

Though it's good to generate revenue for the franchise and create the fan base, wouldnt this change the country wise team model to club level team model? when it's happened it would go on and try to emulate the success EPL has .... then only during the worldcup the country wise team will meet each other...

Posted by Meety on (May 13, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

@riverlime - the T20s can't play at the same time, as SA, Oz & NZ cannot realistically play during the winter. Most grounds would be used for the 4 main football codes.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (May 13, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

The cancer is beginning to spread ...The end is nigh for international cricket.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

Not a bad idea by BCCI. Right now the franchises are like just for 2 months and the CLT20 if they qualify.

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