Surrey wants to bring the IPL to UK in an NFL-esque plan to host matches at the Oval and other testing grounds … and London Mayor Sadiq Khan backs ambitious project that could bring in ‘tens of millions of pounds’ for English cricket
- The largest provincial club wants to bring the IPL to the Oval and other test locations
- The plan would be to have official games similar to the NFL games in London
- As soon as Covid permits, the project would kick off with exhibition competitions
- Surrey has sought the support of Sadiq Khan, who is considered supportive
- Khan was involved in the talks that brought MLB to the capital two years ago
Surrey wants to host Indian Premier League matches in England in a project that could be worth ‘tens of millions of pounds’ for the low-budget domestic game.
The largest county club hopes to bring the world’s most lucrative franchise competition to the Kia Oval and other testing grounds.
Crucially, the plan would be to hold official games, similar to those brought to London by American sports giants such as the NFL, after the project has begun exhibition games with IPL teams as soon as Covid allows.
Surrey wants to hold Indian Premier League matches at the Kia Oval and other test fields
The plan would be to hold official games (photo – the Mumbai Indians celebrate their victory in 2019)
“We would like to take the IPL to London and other parts of England,” said Surrey Chairman Richard Thompson Sportsmail
“We think that’s the silver bullet for reaching a more diverse audience for cricket in this country.
“We could run games in the same way that Jacksonville Jaguars do, for example, play legit NFL games in London. The windfalls from organizing the Champions Trophy and the World Cup for English cricket have been enormous and we see the IPL at that level.
This could be worth tens of millions to the English game. We’ve all lost so much money through Covid that we need to be more creative and provide cricket that generates income that you otherwise wouldn’t have earned. That’s why I think IPL is a no-brainer. ‘
The plan would be to hold official games in the same way as the NFL games in London
Surrey has sought the support of London mayor Sadiq Khan, who is believed to be providing support.
The Labor politician could be a formidable ally as his team has a track record of bringing major international sporting events to London.
City Hall officials were involved in the negotiations when Tottenham got a 10-year deal to host NFL games at their new stadium.
Sadiq Khan (R) was personally involved in the talks that brought MLB to London two years ago
And Khan was personally involved in the talks that brought Major League Baseball to the capital two years ago, with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees playing two regular season games at West Ham’s London Stadium.
In the run-up to the baseball talks, the 50-year old got the honor of throwing the ceremonial first pitch at a game between New York Mets and Minnesota Twins during a visit to America.
Khan is aiming for re-election as mayor next month and transferring the money-guzzling IPL to London during a second five-year term could be part of his campaign.