Sydney, Apr.24 : Kings XI Punjab CEO Neil Maxwell has ruled out Australia's chances of developing a successful Twenty20 franchise tournament on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL), saying television networks would not bankroll it.
Unlike the IPL, which created a bidding war between rival networks and eventually sold the rights for more than one billion US dollars, Australia's comparatively minuscule population and limited competition in the television industry inhibits the prospects of CA cashing in on the Twenty20 craze, Maxwell believes.
"We [the IPL] are relying on the television revenue, and the competition is not there in Australia, you are basically targeting other countries' television rights as well, and one of the weaknesses of the Australian market is that we just haven't got the competition or the population to sustain it," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Maxwell as saying on Wednesday.
CA revealed earlier this week it would consider forming a local Twenty20 franchise tournament depending on the success of the IPL and England's proposed version, which has gathered momentum after further talks with American billionaire Allen Stanford, who is interested in funding the British version.
"India and England are the only two markets that can sustain franchise tournaments. [England has] the revenue, they have the pay TV and the population. Let's not beat around the bush, the major revenue is going to come from the television rights and then sponsorship helps too, but in Australia's case the sponsorship is also weaker," said Maxwell.
"You have to have consortiums who are prepared to invest in the tournament, and they will do it for the money, for the profit, and it's going to be very different to India because of that lack of competition for the television rights," he said.
Maxwell has instead recommended that CA focus on negotiating transfer fees like those seen in football, and recoup some costs for producing the talent for the Indian and English boards.
"Australia's biggest asset is its players. Cricket Australia develops world-class players and they need to control that aspect," Maxwell said.
"Cricket Australia should probably try to set up a deal with the organisers to receive transfer fees, so if someone ends up buying an Australian player they (CA) are rewarded for producing that player."