Seeking re-election next month, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has vowed to work with cricket authorities to try and stage official group matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the British Capital. London has previously hosted regular season matches in both the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB).
Khan is now hopeful that he could add IPL to the list. Khan, who is running for a second term in the Mayoral election on May 6, stated that bringing IPL to London is part of his plan for the betterment of the capital after the pandemic. He stated that Londoners ‘are hungry’ to see the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant. Khan also said that London is ideal to host IPL games.
“This is part of my plan to build a better London after the pandemic. I know Londoners are hungry to see more of the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant and, with two of the world’s greatest cricket grounds in Lord’s and The Kia Oval, London is ideally placed to host IPL matches,” Khan said in a press release.
“The absence of live crowds at elite competitions has been hard for many sport-loving Londoners but I know we can build a better, more open and prosperous city after the pandemic and see our capital confirmed as the undisputed sporting capital of the world. I will never stop banging the drum for investment in our city and bringing the Indian Premier League to London would not only guarantee a home crowd for every country but boost tourism and generate much-needed revenue to help get our capital back on its feet,” he added.
The IPL has been held outside India in the past but only because of unavoidable reasons. In 2009 and 2014, the tournament was played in South Africa and UAE respectively due to general elections in the country. Last year, it was held in UAE once again due to the pandemic.