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No IPL bid from MCC
The MCC announced they have decided against bidding for either of the two new Indian Premier League franchises.
The owners of future franchises are expected to be unveiled on Sunday, less than a week before the start of the third IPL season.
It had been reported the MCC might bid, and chief executive Keith Bradshaw confirmed the issue was given serious consideration.
However, an MCC statement this afternoon read: "MCC has today confirmed that it was not part of the bids that were lodged in Mumbai for the two new Indian Premier League franchises.
"The MCC committee had met earlier this week at Lord's to discuss its potential involvement with an IPL franchise.
"The MCC committee has further decided that its best position lies in a broader relationship with the IPL as a whole."
Bradshaw and MCC trustee Anthony Wreford travelled to India to discuss proposals with potential IPL consortium members.
A small working party subsequently reported back to the MCC committee.
Bradshaw said: "After a healthy debate and a thorough investigation, MCC's committee has decided to uphold the recommendation of our working party not to proceed as an equity stakeholder in a new IPL franchise.
"Having said that, we will continue to discuss other ideas with the IPL and, through their support of the MCC Spirit of Cricket campaign, maintain a close working relationship with them."
IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi last week suggested a Barclays Premier League football club might be among the parties interested in acquiring a franchise stake.
Yesterday, it was announced the IPL would be available for live free-to-air broadcast after ITV agreed a deal which will see all but one of this season's matches shown on the company's ITV4 channel - available to non-subscribing digital viewers.
Bradshaw said: "The world of cricket is fast-changing, and there's no doubt the IPL is going to be a central part of that world for the foreseeable future.
"We will remain in close contact with the IPL to develop mutually beneficial opportunities."
MCC president John Barclay and head of cricket John Stephenson will travel to India next week to attend the IPL opening ceremony in Mumbai.
At the ceremony, eight team leaders will sign a 'Captain's Charter' to once again adhere to the MCC Spirit of Cricket 'Play Hard, Play Fair' principles.
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