For the first time in its 12-year history, the eight franchises of the Indian Premier League is expected to be allowed to play “friendly” fixtures outside of India. The decision is one that the newly-formed IPL council is contemplating as part of a brand building exercise although the teams will not carry any stamp of the tournament of the BCCI, a report in Wednesday’s Times of India stated.

“There’s a very simple way to look at it. Until now, if you were in Canada and were interested in watching Mumbai Indians play, you had to fly all the way to India. If you were in the Caribbean and interested in watching Shahrukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders in action, you had no choice but to travel half the globe. Now, the circus may come to a town near you,” says an industry executive.

The first time the Indian Premier League went abroad was in 2009 when due to general elections in the country, South Africa edged England to be named the replacement venue of the second edition. Five years later, owing to the same reason, the first-half of the IPL 2014 was hosted by Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

However, the report only stated that the idea has still only been proposed and it will be presented at the BCCI’s AGM meet later this month, where a call is expected to be taken. The idea of playing abroad is one that has been fancied by IPL franchises over the years, although it is not sure if the teams have any particular countries or venues in mind.

“It is imperative for such ideas to be given priority. When the IPL went to South Africa 10 years ago, the fanfare there caught the global imagination. Even a 20-day stint in UAE, in 2014, had an alarming effect. There’s a market and this is business. It has to grow if the sport has to,” say industry veterans.