The Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament “transcends borders”, according to Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary N. Srinivasan.
Srinivasan, who is also the Chennai Super Kings owner, said his team has hired foreign support staff because they wanted best personnel regardless of nationality.
“I think, the IPL transcends borders. We only wanted the best and it does not matter which country he hails from,” he said in reference to the appointment of former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming as the coach besides South African Greg King as the trainer and Australian Tom Simsek as the physio.
When asked about the possibility of enlarged budgets this year in view of the shift to South Africa, Srinivasan said: “We are not concerned by the budgets. Money is not the issue, but what is more important is winning. Our focus is on winning the tournament this year.”
Despite repeated questioning, Srinivasan declined to give numbers, saying: “We have a fair idea about our finances based on last year, but the totality of it (spends) will be known only at the end of the tournament.”
Commenting on the exchange of words between Sunil Gavaskar and Shah Rukh Khan, the franchise owner of Kolkata Knight Riders whose Australian coach John Buchanan mooted the “multiple captains” theory, Srinivasan said: “Shah Rukh Khan has replied to Gavaskar and I don’t have anything to add to that.”
Srinivasan was confident that the IPL would be received well in South Africa and that the IPL committee has already launched a publicity and marketing blitz to generate public interest.
“The IPL has already launched a programme on behalf of the franchisee to make the locals aware of what the IPL is all about and bringing out the flavour of the tournament. This will cover our marketing needs.
“South Africa has a huge Asian population and the fact that the tickets for the opening day’s matches in Cape Town have been sold out is a good sign,” he said.