Sydney, Apr.24 : Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland today cast doubt over the sustainability of the Indian Premier League, saying the much-hyped Twenty20 competition is already facing financial pressure.
Large crowds and worldwide television audiences have ushered in the first week of the inaugural IPL, but Sutherland today claimed owners of the eight franchises had already started to question how they would be getting returns on their multi-million dollar investments.
"It's all very well to have a whole lot of hype around a competition ... (but) in order for it to be sustainable it needs to have its own virtual cycle that keeps all the parties happy," Sutherland told Sydney radio 2KY.
"It's nice to pay the players well and get big money from television rights and sponsorships, but ultimately you've got to provide a return for the owners or in this case the franchises.
"As I understand it, the franchisees are starting to ask questions already.
The eight franchises sold for between US67 million dollars and US111.9 million dollars during the team auction in January.
On top of that, each team has shelled out millions for their playing roster with the likes of Indian one-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni drawing US1.5 million dollars and Australian Andrew Symonds US1.35 million dollars at the player auction.
Asked whether he believed the IPL was already under financial pressure, Sutherland was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying: "It would have to be.
"You look at the number (cost) for the franchises, somewhere between 70 million and 100 million and they pay the players on top of that, explain it to me how they get their return," he added.