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IPL to Overtakes NFL as biggest sporting event

IPL 2023 Prep Begins Now: SA20 to Serve as Practice Platform

Andrew Strauss, the former England cricket captain, has predicted that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will soon surpass American Football’s NFL to become the biggest domestic sporting event in the world. He made these remarks while delivering the annual Cowdrey lecture at Lord’s.

Strauss praised the IPL for inspiring one of cricket’s “great steps forward.” He acknowledged that the league, which is a highly profitable franchise T20 event supported by wealthy business figures and entertainment stars, has led to the creation of similar competitions such as Australia’s Big Bash and the Caribbean Premier League. Players on the global T20 circuit earn a good living from cricket without having to represent their countries.

Despite these developments, there have been concerns about the future of international cricket, especially five-day Tests. Strauss, however, pointed out that issues of “overkill” have existed in the game before the advent of the IPL in 2008, and continue to persist even at international and county level. He urged his audience to embrace the IPL, saying that the game has not “sold its soul.”

As the Indian economy grows, Strauss said that the value of the IPL is expected to reach six times its current value by 2040, when the economy reaches parity with the size of the US. This, he said, would make the IPL the biggest domestic sporting tournament in the world. He also said that the recent creation of a women’s IPL would “accelerate” the growth of the female game, with women’s cricket likely to become one of the top three sports for earning potential for young women with talent and a desire to play sports professionally.

Finally, Strauss said that the attacking style of play adopted by England’s red-ball coach and captain augured well for the future of the five-day game. He said that the Test series that capture people’s imaginations and that people look forward to aren’t going anywhere.

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