Ness Wadia, one of the co-owners of Punjab Kings, is of the opinion that BCCI should think about allowing the IPL teams to play exhibition games in those parts of the world where there is a very large Indian population.
IPL has not only become the biggest cricket league in the world, but it is also now among the biggest sporting leagues, with all sports taken into consideration. There is a scope to enhance the popularity of the league even further if the tournament creates an audience for itself in countries like the USA and Canada.
Cricket, at the moment, is not that popular a sport in the USA and Canada, but its popularity can be enhanced there with the exhibition of IPL games every year as a huge number of Indian and Asian people reside in those countries.
Ness Wadia has suggested BCCI consider USA, Canada and Singapore as possible venues for exhibition games
Apart from the USA and Canada, Wadia has suggested Singapore as an option to play exhibition IPL games as well, simply because of the presence of the Indian diaspora. It’s something which English premiership football clubs do very often. Most of the English PL clubs play friendly games around the world pre-season, enhancing the size of their fanbase beyond their regular audience.
“Allow top four franchises to play a few games in Miami or in Toronto or in Singapore. It will only strengthen what already is a strong product,” Wadia was quoted as saying by PTI.
Ness Wadia is also not surprised by the recent gigantic valuation of the new IPL franchises which have been added to the league, as he thinks sport has become a big business prospect and IPL hasn’t got to this level overnight.
It has taken a decade and a half of extremely hard work by the franchises and the BCCI administrators to get the valuation of the league to such heights, and the valuation can be taken higher by exploring the USA and the Canadian markets, which have remained unexplored as far as cricket is concerned.