Modi exploring options to take IPL, Champions League to US

Indian Premier League and United States cricket board are exploring the possibilities of playing American cricketers in the cash-awash Twenty20 event and also featuring a US team in the champions League.

IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi recently met with the CEO of USA Cricket Donald Lockerbie at Dubai to explore a strategic partnership in order to take the twenty20 matches to the United States.

In the meeting, the future of top American cricketers and the possibility of them playing in the IPL was discussed. Issues ranging from infrastructure and developing cricket stadia in the USA and the possibility of Americans bidding for future events such as the IPL – inspired Champions League T20 were also discussed, a release said.

The IPL and USA Cricket have also agreed to work jointly on a master plan to bring the IPL to the USA and will meet again to form a working group in May 2010 and take the process ahead, it added.

“IPL has established itself as a truly global sporting league with its fans spanning the globe. The North American continent has emerged as the second largest market in terms of revenue and viewership for Indian cricket,” Modi said after the meet.

“Our meeting with the team from USA Cricket was very encouraging and we are confident of taking the IPL to the USA in the near future. I have no doubt that with the presence of a strong and growing South Asian diaspora, cricket will soon become a popular sport in the USA,” Modi added.

The IPL is confident that the league’s franchisee teams should begin to play in America as early as 2011, with modified versions of the fastest growing sporting league in the world also on the radar for the USA.

“Lalit knows the American landscape and its competitive importance in the world to marketing any great product. The IPL is a powerful new product in the sports industry and we will work hard to see USA Cricket and the IPL succeed together and energise the growth of Cricket in our country,” Lockerbie said.

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