The Committee of Administrators (CoA) appointed by the Supreme Court has rejected defending champions Mumbai Indian’s proposal to foster IPL in the USA.
The four-time winners proposed to promote a brand UPL in the United States to widen the brand and reach of IPL. As Mumbai Indians features in a BCCI tournament, they need approval from CoA before scheduling such events.
The plan was to fly to the United States for the pre-season and play few matches against local teams to attract cricket lovers.
As per IANS report, sources said, “Since MI participate in a BCCI tournament, they must take written permission if they are looking at any such move. Mumbai Indians’ idea was to promote brand IPL and the game in the US and also to develop a new market for the game. The team would have headed to the US and also play a few games with local teams so as to attract cricket lovers in the region and get them up close and personal with their favorite stars“.
“MI even asked the CoA to provide the window as per their suitability. Playing local matches would popularise the sport as we all know that cricket is not followed much there and also, there are many Indians there and the franchise wanted to go and experiment and see how they can give back to the game“, the source added.
The MI franchise even proposed to share the revenue from such tournament, but that was not their main objective. They wanted to focus on expanding the brand of IPL and do pre-season tours like soccer teams.
“Selling tickets wasn’t their idea because you never know if you would even have the top stars like Rohit Sharma playing as they have national commitments. The idea was to promote the brand and the game in the region. It was about making a noise. The franchise is very serious about the idea and wants to bring it up with the BCCI in the future as well. IPL is a global brand in cricket playing countries, but what about the upcoming nations?
“Isn’t this why football clubs come to Asian countries on their pre-season tours? That is how you expand the brand and make the game more popular. It is no mean project and MI is ready to do that and should get the required assistance.“, told sources.
After been informed about the proposal, the CoA decided not to pursue it for now.