Saudi Arabia is not only enhancing its sporting scene but also setting its sights on India. Crown Prince MBS’s ambition has led to discussions with Indian government officials regarding a stake in the $30 billion Indian Cricket League. Saudi royal Mohammed bin Salman has proposed investing up to $5 billion in the IPL. This move may also be followed by a foray into other countries, similar to the English Premier League or the European Champions League, as Bloomberg reported. What remains to be seen is whether the Indian government and the country’s cricket regulator, BCCI, share the same enthusiasm as the wealthy Kingdom.
They are currently silent on the matter and will most likely make a decision on the proposal after next year’s federal election. The IPL is one of the most popular cricket leagues in the world. Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, is also heavily invested in the IPL, with his better half, Nita Ambani, serving as the co-owner of the IPL team Mumbai Indians.
Saudi Arabia has been investing billions of dollars in sports and has given it immense importance in nearly all megaprojects like Qiddiya, ski-resort Trojena, Neom, and so on. According to sources, the chairman of the sports governing body in the kingdom has expressed a desire to turn the nation into a global cricketing destination. “You can’t compete with money, especially the money that Saudi Arabia is throwing around to certain people,” said England cricket captain and one of the world’s top players, Ben Stokes, in an interview with Bloomberg this year.
The incredibly affluent Saudi wealth fund, PIF, acquired a majority stake in the English Premier League football club Newcastle United FC in 2021.