Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, has hinted that the Twenty20 tournament could be held twice a year, once in India and a shorter one overseas.
“The IPL will be based in India, but the second season (of a year) we are planning gives us the chance to see if a market exists and we are seriously looking at what we can do with it,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
He said he had been encouraged by the response from fans in South Africa, where the IPL was shifted for the 2009 season due to concerns over security as the competition clashed with general elections in India. “We have turned the challenges and adversities in moving to South Africa into an opportunity,” he said. “It is fans who determine if you are successful or not and they have come out in force here. It has shown that the tournament can be in any region, in any country. This opens up many different opportunities for us.”
The USA, where the ICC has advised cricket officials to install an IPL-style Twenty20 league, is one of the countries Modi considers a potential host. “America throws up challenges but the format we have developed works,” he said. “Apart from watching great cricket they have an enjoyable evening out. That will work anywhere.
“Before this tournament we did not know if we could do it. But we do know now. We have to satisfy an appetite across the world and build a fan base across the world. ”
The IPL and the huge money it offers players has had many worrying about the primacy of Test cricket, and West Indies captain Chris Gayle’s comments earlier this month that he “wouldn’t be so sad” if Tests vanished in favour of Twenty20s had sparked a furore.
There have already been several demands for a window in the official calendar to accommodate the IPL, and the rise of Twenty20 is set to continue with the launch of tournaments in England, and another involving players from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.