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Saudi Arabia government seeks to establish world’s richest cricket league; Approaches IPL owners

Ambassador Dr Suhel Khan and HRH Prince Saud bin Mishal Al Saud. (Photo Source: India in Saudi Arabia/Twitter)

Several sports have undergone a phenomenal transformation with the advent of the global league gaming concept in the past few decades. One of the prime examples has been none other than the famous English Premier League (EPL) football. Now, when it comes to this premier competition, something will strike many sports aficionados’ minds. Yes! the immense role of global investors pumping their money heavily in the famed league and most notably the role of the middle east region in it.

Notably, popular clubs like Manchester City, Newcastle United and Sheffield United have owners from the countries like UAE and Saudi Arabia. Apart from football, in the past few years, Saudi Arabia of late has become a big investor in other sports such as Golf apart from already being a key investor in Formula One. The most recent example has been the LIV golf tournament. Consequently, the Arabian government now wants to invest heavily to tap the potential of Cricket in the region.

In the same vein, in a new thrilling development, the Saudi Arabian government is seeking to set up the world’s richest cricket league called the ‘Saudi Arabian League’ in the Gulf region similar to the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) with the help of none other than the BCCI. It is claimed that the Arabian representatives have been in talks with the Indian board for over a year now to set up the ‘World’s richest cricket league’ as per The Age.

However, as of now, the BCCI does not allow Indian players to take part in other foreign leagues. But with massive interest from Saudi Arabia could see the board finally mulling over allowing its players to play abroad as well. Interestingly enough, to make it happen, the league has to get approval from the ICC (International Cricket Council) along with some prime cricketing nations like Australia. Albeit, some time back, the ICC chairman, Greg Barclay had indicated the interest of the Saudi Arabian government in cricket.

“If you look at other sports they’ve been involved in, cricket is something I imagine would be attractive to them,” he said. “Given their advance into the sport more generally, cricket would work quite well for Saudi Arabia. They’re pretty keen to invest in sport, and given their regional presence, cricket would seem a pretty obvious one to pursue,” Barclay stated.

Saudi Arabian government plans to host initial rounds of the IPL and Asia Cup in the future ahead

Furthermore, the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation chairman also shared his views on their interest in this global game. As per Al-Saud, the country is aiming to make Saudi Arabia a global hub for cricket which will increase sustainability for the expats and local citizens alike, who are residing in the Arabian Kingdom.

“Our aim is to create a sustainable industry for locals and expats living in the Kingdom and make Saudi Arabia a global cricketing destination,” Prince Saud bin Mishal Al-Saud told Arab News.

Furthermore, the representatives of the Saudi government and business entities, reportedly, have tried to discuss the possibility of hosting the opening match or even the initial rounds of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the Arabian authorities are also keen to host the annual Asia Cup in the future ahead if things pan out in their favour.

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