MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli likely to play IPL exhibition matches in US as BCCI plans to expand horizon

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New Delhi, May 29: Indian Premier League's two most popular captains MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli might soon play exihibition against each other for their respective franchises on American soil.

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In an attempt to cash-in the popularity of the IPL among Indian diaspora in the US and expand its reach, the BCCI is mulling over organising a few exhibition T20 matches in the western country.

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As per a NDTV report, according to highly placed sources in the BCCI, three franchises namely Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants have expressed their desire to play some exhibition matches in the USA where there is a sizeable Indian and South Asian population.

"The matter is expected to be discussed at the IPL Governing Council in Bengaluru before the start of the final match on Sunday. The venue is tentatively Houston," a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying.

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"However the dates need to be chalked out. Earlier, it was being discussed it would happen in the window available between India's tour of Zimbabwe and West Indies. But it could now be held in September also. All three teams are expected to play against each other. Obviously, major attractions will be Kohli and Dhoni," the official said.

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"Houston is one centre that has been zeroed in as it having multiple centres will be a case of logistical nightmare for a short trip of exhibition matches."

As ninth edition of IPL is going to end tonight as Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad are going to lock horns on Sunday night (May 29), it could be another visual treat for billions of IPL fans.

Also, T20 is the only game which can be a potent tool for marketing the game in the US due to its duration.

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Earlier last year, "Cricket All Stars Series" was played in USA in November across 3 cities. The T20 matches, featuring former cricketing stars, were played between "Sachin's Blasters" and "Warne's Warriors".

The series was the brainchild of the game's two legends Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne to popularise the game of cricket on American soil. Warne's Warriors won tournament 2-1.

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