- Feb 25, 2024
- Sep 14, 2022
Richard Thompson, the new chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, wants to bring the Indian T20 League matches into England as he sets an ambitious target and is on an important mission to double attendances. Thompson has set an ambitious target of increasing English cricket attendances from two million per summer to four million and believes a combination of women’s cricket and matches involving teams from south Asia will help put the sport of cricket on par with football.
“We have seen the value when India and Pakistan are playing over here during World Cups and Champions Trophies,” Thompson said in his first interview as chairman.
“The NBA and NFL come here, so why can’t we host the IPL? The IPL has grown its window by another three weeks, and I don’t think it cannibalizes other competitions because [many England] players are playing in it anyway.”
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has supported Surrey’s attempts to host IPL games but to do so requires the permission of the ECB, which has not been forthcoming. It is also not known if the IPL governing council wants to play overseas but tapping into the south Asian supporter base in London and other English cities would be a way of driving support in the franchises.
England have 4 prominent competitions in their domestic calendar, namely the County Championship, the T20 blast, the Royal London One Day Cup and the Hundred Ball Tournament. If at all the Indian T20 league comes to England, then accommodating the other already established competitions for England will be tough. But as of now, the main concern of the ECB is on how to double the viewership.
”Accommodating four competitions is very hard, but we have to work hard to make sure all four can flourish, not with one at the expense of the other.”
The new chairman of the ECB believes that they can accommodate the Indian T20 league and also all the other competitions in England without any trouble. However, if the Indian T20 league matches are to be played in England, frequent washouts should not take place.