The Saudi Arabian government is reportedly in talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to set up World’s Richest T20 League. They have approached Indian Premier League owners and want Indian cricketers to become a part of it as they want to maximize the untapped potential of cricket.
Saudi Arabian government has shown great interest in the sports domain in the last couple of years. They have invested heavily in multiple sports including Saudi Arabian Formula 1 Grand Prix and LIV Golf. They have also invested in football recently. Their next target is to capitalize on the game of cricket with the World’s Richest T20 League.
According to a report in The Age, the discussion about the cricket league in Saudi Arabia began over a year ago. Any proposed league needs to be sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and also needs to get the approval of the member countries.
Saudi Arabia plans to revolutionize the game of cricket with World’s Richest T20 League
ICC Chairman Greg Barclay had earlier confirmed Saudi Arabia’s investment interests in the game of cricket “If you look at other sports they’ve been involved in, cricket is something I imagine would be attractive to them,” said Barclay.
“Given their advance into sport more generally, cricket would work quite well for Saudi Arabia. They’re pretty keen to invest in sport, and given their regional presence, cricket would seem a pretty obvious one to pursue,” the ICC Chairman further added.
Currently, Indian players only feature in the Indian Premier League as they are prohibited from participating in foreign T20 leagues by the BCCI. To create World’s Richest T20 League, the Saudi Arabian government would certainly need Indian players to compete in their league as well.
United Arab Emirates is the go-to nation for the BCCI whenever they have hosted matches in the Gulf. IPL 2020 edition was organized in the UAE due to the covid restrictions in India. The second half of IPL 2021 too was organized in the UAE after the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak halted the season in India.
Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation is aiming to make Saudi Arabia a ‘global cricket destination’ in the upcoming years. This will also help in strengthening relationships with India through cricket. The idea is also to make Saudi Arabia the No.1 tourist destination for Indians for which they are already advertising quite aggressively.