BCCI turns down Mumbai Indians' proposal to play three-team friendlies in USA
Following a request from IPL side Mumbai Indians to play some friendly matches with a couple of other franchises in the US during August/September, the Board of Cricket in India (BCCI) has refused to entertain the proposal.
Mumbai Mirror reported that the decision was taken by BCCI during their annual conclave in Dharamsala last month. Though no official or member of the board was available for comment, it has been understood that the hectic schedule also involving a few pink-ball games in Duleep Trophy was a major reason behind their stance.
The move comes after the postulated mini IPL was scrapped by cricket authorities in the country due to a packed home season and the fact that television broadcasters did not show much interest in the plan either.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians had put forth the idea formally upon the completion of the 2016 IPL season in May. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants expressed eagerness to participate in the venture which was formulated to target the massive Indian Diaspora in North America.
Also read: MCC suggests cricket balls to be altered
With the Indian Test team scheduled to visit West Indies for a four-match series from July 21 to August 22, there were even speculations that senior cricketers such as Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ravichandran Ashwin would fly directly to USA to take part in the friendly contests.
Venues like Houston, Miami and New York were discussed for staging the proposed exhibition matches. Perhaps, the considerable success of the All-Stars T20 tournament featuring retired legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, Brian Lara and Wasim Akram led to the project.
The event which took part in iconic baseball venues attracted large crowds signaling the potential for cricket to thrive in the continent. However, sanity has finally prevailed with BCCI opting to look after the workloads of top Indian cricketers above financial gains.