The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 contributed Rs 1,150 crore ($182 million) to India's gross domestic product, according to the country's cricket administrator, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The annual event is the BCCI's biggest cash cow; it generated Rs 999.63 crore in income for the BCCI during financial year 2014-2015, about 78.93 percent of the administrator's total income of Rs 1,266.41 crore, according to its 2014-2015 annual report.
Besides, the IPL has raised the profile of India in the world of cricket, attracting the best of players, Bollywood celebs such as Shah Rukh Khan, Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta, and corporate bigwigs such as Vijay Mallya and Mukesh Ambani, giving IPL matches the look of a carnival backed by big money.
Why then should the stakeholders of the IPL promote a rival – the Caribbean Premier League – similar to the IPL format? Some IPL franchise owners now also own the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) teams – Trinbago Knight Riders (Shah Rukh Khan) and Barbados Tridents (Vijay Mallya).
The answer is simple: India wants to "use" the CPL to "stunt" the growth of the nascent Pakistan Super League (PSL), according to a Pakistani publication, The Nation.
The BCCI, according to the publication, has reluctantly accepted the PSL and has been playing spoilsport.
"Among their initial attempts to jeopardise the league, the Board of Control for Cricket in India reached an agreement with Sri Lanka Cricket to play a shorter-version series in February. The announcement came shortly after Sri Lanka Cricket had verbally given Pakistan Cricket Board the green light that all its players will be available for the inaugural edition of Pakistan Super League."
"The announcement not only placed valid question marks on the availability of key Sri Lankan players for PSL, but it was timed in such a manner that it required a quick change in plans for team owners who were hopeful of signing Sri Lankan players for their franchises," The Nation report added.
The BCCI, the report says, is supporting the CPL as the West Indian version is not seen as affecting the IPL. "...commercial leagues exist with a profit motive and, in a competitive market that is becoming highly saturated, why would India want to strengthen and groom a potential rival?"
"The answer, in the simplest of terms, is that India does not view the Caribbean Premier League as a possible threat to their glamorised product or market share, rather it is using it as a pawn to stunt the growth of Pakistan Super League," the publication concludes.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sold all five Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises for $93 million for a ten-year period, according to ESPNcricinfo. The matches were played between Feb. 4 and Feb. 23.
As for this year's edition of IPL T20 matches, they will be played between April 9 and May 29, 2016.