'IPL will take game to a new frontier'

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Sydney, Apr 25 (UNI) Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive James Sutherland envisages the cash rich Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 model as the vehicle to take the game to new and uncharted frontiers.

Sutherland's vision for the game is to be taken up by China and the US, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is pushing the game into new and untapped markets in soccer-crazy South America.

''I could see Twenty20 working in new markets such as China and the United States,'' Sutherland said. ''We, at CA, are already working together with the Asian Cricket Council and have in place well-advanced coaching programmes in a bid to fast-track the game in that part of East Asia.'' ''Cricket for the first time will be played by both men and women at the Asian Games in 2010, with the host nation, China, fielding teams in both competitions,'' he said.

As for the International Cricket Council-sanctioned IPL tournament, Sutherland said, ''It has plenty to offer. India as a nation has a huge appetite for cricket, but whether it is financially sustainable we won't know for a few years yet.'' The franchisees will want to see a return on their investment.

Do I believe Twenty20 is good for the game? The jury is still out.

''The Indian cricket board and the business people behind IPL- didn't go into this multi-million dollar venture with their eyes closed. It's all very well to have a whole lot of hype around a competition, but in order to be sustainable, it needs to have its own virtual cycle that would keep all the parties happy, he added.


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