London, April 10 (IANS) The Indian Premier League (IPL) matches could soon be played in London in the coming years, if London mayor Sadiq Khan’s wishes come true and his talks with authorities and franchises materialise.
Khan expressed interest in having IPL games in London in near future and said that he is in talks with Indian cricket board (BCCI) for hosting the tournament. He said that Surrey County Cricket Club has also shown interest.
“I’m really excited to be working with Surrey County Cricket Club and others to try to bring Indian Premier League to London,” Khan told Press Association (PA).
“I’ve seen for myself the benefit of sports to our city. We now have Major League Baseball in our city, we have American football in our city and have got a deal for the NFL to stay for at least 10 years, which is great news,” he added.
London has previously hosted National Football League (American football), Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association events in the past.
“I am really keen to see sport come to London so we can be the undisputed sporting capital of the world.”
“I am keen to see (Virat) Kohli coming to London, not just with the India team this summer but to come with his team: Bangalore. I’d love to see Chennai here with (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni or Mumbai with (Rohit) Sharma,” he added.
“We are speaking to the IPL, we are speaking to teams in India, but we’re trying to persuade the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] and others to have the ambition we’ve got for our city.
“If you’re a cricket fan who lives in Europe or North America it’s really cheap and easy to come to London, it’s one way of bringing tourists back to our city.
“It won’t just be London benefiting, if we get the IPL here, we can see matches taking place at Edgbaston in Birmingham or at [Emirates] Old Trafford in Manchester or at [Emerald] Headingley in Leeds.
“There are big, big cricket fans who are desperate to see IPL in London. Indians love London, London loves India, it’s what I call a win-win.”