Sadiq Khan confirms talks with IPL over London events

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced his intent to bring Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches to the capital city, ahead of mayoral elections.

The Mayor confirmed that events would take place at either Lords or Kia Oval, also revealing that the Surrey County Cricket Club has been involved in discussions with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL.

In addition to the capital, Birmingham’s Edgbaston, Manhcester’s Old Trafford and Leeds’ Headingly Stadium have been touted as potential venues for fixtures.

“I’m really excited to be working with Surrey County Cricket Club and others to try to bring Indian Premier League to London,” Khan remarked, speaking at a Press Association event last week.

“I’ve seen for myself the benefit of sports to our city; we now have Major League Baseball in our city, we have American football in our city and have got a deal for the NFL to stay for at least 10 years, which is great news.

“I’m really keen to see sport come to London so we can be the undisputed sporting capital of the world.”

If events are brought to London, it will be only the second time the tournament has been played outside of India, after last year’s competition took place in the UAE due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The current season of the IPL kicked off on Friday, with the Mumbai Indians the defending champions. The tournament will be held at neutral venues in six Indian cities behind closed doors to enforce social distancing measures.

If the IPL was to visit London, it would be the third major overseas sporting event to take place in the city since Khan secured the mayorship, following the US National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB).