Ireland eyeing IPL franchise?

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The Irish cricket board want a slice of the revenue pie: they wish to buy a franchise in the IPL or in the proposed English Premier League.

Updated: June 27, 2008 09:42 IST
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Ireland is looking for a franchise either in the proposed English Premier League (EPL) or the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be part of the Twenty20 cricket revolution.

Cricket Ireland has come to realise this revolution that is bringing in unprecedented riches into the game and chief executive Warren Deutrom says either the EPL or the IPL could be the most visible entry-point for his country.

Deutrom has drawn up a blueprint, which wants Ireland to be one of the three guest teams the English Cricket Board is considering introducing to its domestic Twenty20.

Should that not happen, Deutrom has another ace up his sleeve: "Could we become a franchise of the Indian Premier League, and what benefits to Irish cricket could be taken from that, if a single individual was bankrolling it?"

Deutrom is fascinated by how Indian millionaires raced to invest in the successful IPL, which brought together the cream of world cricket for six weeks in spring.

Is there one more millionare or billionaire around in India, he asks. "In India they are making a lot of money out of Twenty20 cricket and if we could find a billionaire entrepreneur to bankroll the Dublin whatever, it would be very interesting. I'm just not sure if a business model exists to make any capital on that," he told Daily Mail.

At present Ireland have no access to any 20-over competition except the World Twenty20 in which they hope to make a debut appearance next summer. But annual involvement in one of the new money-spinning leagues would transform the finances of the Irish game, backers of cricket here feel.

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