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Indian cricket influence

Lancashire County Cricket Club are aiming to win the hearts of Indian fans as they look to build on a record-breaking financial year despite the impending impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The club also announced turnover of 34.0 million pounds and net profit of 5.0 million pounds — both new highs for the organisation. But with no cricket to be played until July at the earliest, Lancashire, like other counties, will expect a financial hit from the impact of the virus.

“Clearly, these are now tough times as the club navigates its way through the current Covid-19 pandemic, but these results at least help relief that financial burden,” CEO Daniel Gidney told Reuters.

“We have a big growth plan for India,” said Gidney, who noted the success of the India v Pakistan World Cup game at the venue last summer.

We want to make Lancashire Cricket the second favourite team for all Indian fans. It is about raising our profile in India and obviously broadcast is a way to do that and we want to launch Lancashire TV and get as much Lancashire cricket content as we can broadcast in the sub-continent. That is very much part of our growth strategy,” he said.

Signing Indian players would be an obvious route to popularity and although the IPL Twenty20 league has restricted Indian players from playing in T20 competitions abroad, players can still play in first-class cricket in England.

Lancashire held a training tour in Mumbai in February during which Gidney met with Indian business executives along with former India and Lancashire player Farokh Engineer.

“To start with it is about encouraging people to travel more to watch India play in England, touch wood India are playing at Emirates Old Trafford in both 2021 and 2022. That is a platform. The passion for the game in India is enormous and unrivalled.”