Preity Zinta believes that Twenty20 leagues around the world have the potential to eclipse international cricket as the shorter format of the game continues to attract new fans. The Bollywood actress and businesswoman co-own the India Premier League (IPL) Kings XI Punjab and has now extended its cricket empire to include Stellenbosch Kings in the new South African T20 League from November 3 to 3. The 16 tournament is the latest in a growing circuit that already includes series in India, Australia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Caribbean. Preite Zinta believes that the growth of these leagues could exceed the interest and investment in international cricket. “The way the format is and the way the leagues are structured, I think in the near future you will see the league cricket takes over, “Zinta told reporters.
“If you look at other sports like football, of course, the sport of the field is there and it is very important, but it is the league sport that is recovering at some point.” The IPL signed a five-year television deal worth $ 2.55 billion earlier this month, five times more per season than the original 10-year contract. The Zinta press sees this as a sign that the format’s popularity attracts nontraditional cricket fans and hopes this trend will continue in all leagues. “The T20 format is a very adaptable format for the world,” he said. “My husband is an American and a baseball fan, but after five years of IPL he is now a cricket fan, a format that is very adaptable to different cultures.
“When the IPL started in India, many people said:” Why you sign up, this is already the number one sport in the country. It’s so saturated, there’s no growth, what’s going to be different? “But I said,” This is number one (sport), but I do not look at it, many women do not look at it, families do not look at it. Only hard-core cricket fans see it. ‘ We wanted an event that could have everything there and everyone could see. “She says the increasingly common attention lately by the fans makes the T20 cricket a favorite in the five-day tests and the game 50 times.
“The content has become manual, people have the appetite to see a T20 game because it’s three hours, it’s a lot of action and it’s very sporty.” It has evolved into cricket with great value and speed of entertainment. “But there are still a lot more fans that we can capture.It’s an experience (being in a game.) It will surely take more and more, and certainly not yet where it should be. “Zinta’s purchase of the T20 World League team follows that of two other IPL owners.
Actor Shah Rukh Khan, owner of Knights Kolkata Knight Riders at IPL and Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean, now owns the Knights of Cape Town in South Africa. The GMR Group of India, which owns the Daredevils of Delhi in the IPL, also bought the South African side Jo ‘burg Giants.