Andrew Strauss, a former captain of England, has boldly predicted that the IPL could one day eclipse the NFL as the world’s most popular sports league.
In the last ten years or so, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has grown significantly, becoming one of the richest sports competitions in the world, competing with leagues like the venerable National Football League (NFL) of the United States and the Premier League of England.
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IPL Will Be Six Times Bigger In 2040: Andrew Strauss
“As the Indian economy grows, it is expected that by the time it reaches parity with the size of the USA in 2040, the value of the IPL is likely to be six times what it is today – this is going to be the biggest domestic sporting tournament in the world, bar none,” Strauss said while delivering the Cowdrey lecture at Lord’s.
He said that the expansion of franchise cricket is a positive development that would encourage participation from a wide range of individuals.
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“If you allow yourself to keep bound up in the thesis that the purpose of the game is to bring diverse people together, whether playing or watching and to allow cricket to educate and connect, then surely the rise of franchise cricket is one of the great steps forward,” he said.
“More players are playing in different parts of the world, experiencing new places and meeting new people, more and more people around the globe are engaged with the great game that we all love so much,” he added.
Women’s Cricket Truly Standing On Its Two Feet: Andrew Strauss
In order to demonstrate how women’s cricket is now standing on its own, he cited the record amount private business houses in India spent to purchase the five franchises for the first Women’s Premier League (WPL).
The cumulative bid the BCCI got for the five teams was higher than what the body collected for the 2008 men’s IPL season, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah stated last month.
“The first IPL franchises have just been sold for an earth-shattering sum of £465 million ($572.5 million),” Strauss said.
He continued, “Women’s cricket is truly standing on its own two feet and is likely to be in the top three sports for earning potential for any young girl with talent and an ambition to play sport professionally.”
Franchise-based cricket leagues have quickly gained popularity throughout the world, prompting mixed reactions from fans and critics. Supporters see it as the next stage in the game’s development while detractors warn that it might ultimately drag international cricket to the bottom of the heap.
Whatever one’s position on the issue, there is no doubting the T20 leagues’ appeal, with private companies spending eye-popping sums to purchase clubs and players.
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