Admitting that they were simply “blown away” by the crowd response and the cooperation from the authorities, the Indian batting legend said that the UAE will be very much on their radar for the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) later this year. The CLT20 is a virtual world championship contested between the top-four finishers in the IPL and Twenty20 table-toppers from other cricketing nations.
“The success of the tournament here has certainly inspired us [about the possibility of hosting the CLT20 here]. The thing we have to take into account is that it is played in September-October, so we have to ensure it doesn’t clash with the start of the Indian season. In India, the monsoons are still there. That is in the back of our minds. We’ll answer that after the IPL is over and we will start discussion soon,” Gavaskar said in a meeting with selected members of the media on Monday. Ranjib Biswal, the chairman of the IPL governing council, and Sundar Raman, the Chief Operating Officer of the league, also attended the session.
Asked if the UAE leg of the IPL can pave the way for a sustainable model of globalising the popular brand – whereby a leg can be held in one of the neighbouring countries alternately – the think-tank felt it may be not be possible. “At the end of the day, it’s an Indian Premier League and there is an audience of one billion in India who cannot be deprived. We are thankful to the authorities back in India that we are being able to hold at least 60-65 per cent of matches there,” said Raman.
Gavaskar, who took over the responsibility of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at the behest of the Supreme Court, pointed out he was also impressed by the sporting spirit in which the game has been played so far.
Giving full marks about the manner in which the UAE authorities have worked in collaboration with the anti-corruption units of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and BCCI, Gavaskar said: “There may still be couple of days more to go, but nothing untoward has happened so far.”
In an effort to bring transparency to the functioning of the IPL and induct the best practices of corporate governance in it, Gavaskar had appointed Mr Deepak Parekh, Chairman of the Housing Development & Finance Corporation (HDFC), as its advisor earlier this month.