Is the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the game’s most hallowed institution and the owner of Lord’s, set to become part of the Indian Premier League? With just over a month left for bids to be invited for two new teams at IPL, top sources say MCC is keen on owning a squad.
According to the sources, MCC bigwigs have had discussions with IPL authorities in this regard and in all likelihood, the club will bid for a team. If MCC does become an IPL franchisee, Lord’s may get to host some “pre-season” matches featuring IPL teams in the future.
Sources said bringing some big games to Lord’s was a major incentive for the club in becoming a part of the world’s richest cricket league. Usually, Lord’s, the “mecca of cricket”, gets to host just one Test match every summer.
“In July last year, when Lord’s hosted an exhibition match between Rajasthan Royals and Middlesex, it was warmly received by spectators,” a source close to the development said.
A BCCI source wondered if MCC had the kind of purse to buy an IPL team. But sources said the club was looking to be part of a consortium. It will also offer to share its expertise on the game. Since formation in 1787, MCC has been the custodian of the game’s laws.
When contacted, media officer Abi Carter said, “MCC does not comment on speculation and will not be commenting on this issue at the present time.”