Guwahati: Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals on Thursday announced that it will expand its fan base by including Guwahati in the IPL family. The IPL Governing Council has also extended support to the team's aspiration to play and expand footprints of cricket in the region and gave the go ahead to play matches at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium. Royals are playing two home matches in Guwahati, rather than 3, to give an extra sheen to their home base and fortress in Jaipur.
With Assam having a pre-existing Royals fanbase that includes sizeable percentage of Rajasthani and Marwari population which has enriched the state in economic, social and cultural fields, the Royals are delighted to be taking the cricketing fever of the IPL to new geographies across the country, and providing the fans with an opportunity to witness their favourite players from close quarters.
The beneficiary fans of the Northeastern states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura, have a great passion for sports. Therefore, the Jaipur-based franchise is aiming to connect with the large population of the region that has not been part of this cricketing extravaganza as yet.
Until now, the Royals have been able to engage with their fans in Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Mohali, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Indore, Pune, Ahmedabad, UAE and South Africa.
"Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) under the youthful guidance of a young leader like Vaibhav Gehlot, we hope will support this inclusive action for NE India both physically and digitally and should join hands with Rajasthan Royals in their endeavor to popularise cricket in a new geography, and embrace the Rajasthan fans to come and witness IPL matches both in Rajasthan and Assam," said Ranjit Barthakur, Executive Chairman for Rajasthan Royals.
"We as a team, as a family, are very excited of the historic decision that we have collectively made in an attempt to take cricket to a region that was deprived of it for a long time. The idea is to give the fans from across India the opportunity to come and experience a fantastic match-day at the stadiums. Having a spread over Rajasthan and Guwahati will give more choice to fans from the Northeast, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and adjoining areas to get an incredible stadium experience" he added.
"Jaipur is our home, and will continue to be so with the support of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. The magnificent backing that we get from the fans in Rajasthan is unparalleled and it is something that keeps us going in our ambitions to further expand our fan-base in other parts of the country. During a season, we are allowed a maximum of three matches at another venue, like we have done in the past in Ahmedabad and Mumbai," said Manoj Badale, lead owner of the Royals.