The way Saudi Arabia is going, after a few days there probably won’t be any sport in the world where the Saudis don’t have investment! No matter what he does on the field, Saudi Arabia is going full steam ahead on its way to becoming the champion by pouring money through ‘Gauri Sen’.
They are now hot names on the football map. The Spanish Super Cup matches are now played in Saudi Arabia, after the ownership of English club Newcastle has been bought by a Saudi investment fund. More than that, they have thrown a lot of money by bringing Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Karim Benzema to their league. Lionel Messi is a goodwill ambassador for Saudi tourism despite not going to their league. In golf, the Saudis also took control and signed an agreement with the Professional Golfers Association (PGA). In 2019, they announced their presence in boxing by staging the fight between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz. Formula One races are held there regularly.
This time, Saudi Arabia is also eyeing cricket. When it comes to cricket, then India will be at the forefront. Saudi Arabia wants to take part in the commercial IPL, which has put India’s cricket ahead of all in terms of economic and political power. Bloomberg News published a report about this today. There they said, the Indian authorities have been proposed to turn the IPL into a holding company by Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has a desire and plan to invest and become a partner in the ownership of the IPL.
Reuters wrote, Mohammed bin Salman visited India last September. There, he expressed his desire to join the IPL to the concerned officials of the Indian government. After that, his advisers informed India about Saudi Arabia’s wishes. The proposal is a ‘win win’ for both sides – financially for India, leverage for Saudi.
The proposal is that the IPL will be turned into a holding company, which will be valued at $3 trillion. 110 taka 68 paisa per dollar, the amount in Bangladeshi currency is 3 lakh 32 thousand crore taka! Saudi Arabia will buy a part of that company by investing 5 billion dollars. IPL is already very popular around the world right now, Saudi Arabia wants to spread it further by taking part in its ownership. Incidentally, the analysis of the statistical website Statistar estimated the market value of IPL in 2022 at 8.4 billion dollars.
Images of Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses regularly surface around the world – especially in the Western world. To change that, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has undertaken the ‘soft power’ project. The project is easy on thick spots – peel off the paste, apply oil. Getting to a place where money is pouring in and slowly taking control. Saudi Arabia mainly wants to kill big Dao with sports.
After football, Formula One, golf, the desire to invest in IPL is a reflection of that plan!