Does an overseas IPL make sense?

I really don’t think so.

Cricket and madness go hand in hand in Indian. I am a firm believer in free market capitalism and I admit (with numbers) that IPL, the Indian Premier League has done wonders to the game as well as the Indian economy. You can even watch IPL online now!

Indeed, I wouldn’t hesitate so that IPL successfully created an economy around itself that previously didn’t exist. But it could happen because it was India. Sports are a cultural phenomenon. Some games become popular in some countries because people build cultural habit around it. It is a way to socialize and connect.

There are a billion people in India who are crazy about cricket and some cricketers have a status of a deity. Here is the real point.

As the legendary batsman, Geoffrey Boycott, points out in his recent interview published on www.cricinfo.com, IPL could have been successful only in India.

Imagine the NFL Superbowl happening at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai! Do you think people will show up? May be some will. But will it culturally appeal to a billion people in India? Nope. Not really!

Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman says that the league will be exported to US, Middle East and other global places. Indian is an exporting country. We have successfully exported goods, services and people. But exporting a game? That is something new.  I will be glad if it happens, but boy, miracles need to happen for that.

I am sure there have been ample strategy analyses and market research to establish that there are strong Indian diasporas globally to go and watch IPL matches once in a year. But will that justify the investment required in terms of marketing the game and building infrastructure? I am not even talking about the stress it will create on players. By the way, it is already a concern!

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