India’s top player Anirvan Lahiri said after taking part in a lucrative Saudi Arabia-backed tour, the outgoing LIV series could do for golf what the IPL did for cricket.

The new circuit has sparked a bitter split that threatens to tear golf apart, sparking accusations of “sportswashing” Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Saudi Arabia has drawn widespread criticism for the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its crackdown on rights activists, many of whom have been jailed or banned from traveling.

And despite the huge financial rewards offered to lure players away from the more established US PGA and European tours, the exiled Lahiri believes the LIV will benefit others along the way. He said he would.

Lahiri, who finished runner-up in March’s Players Championship, was one of six recruits announced Tuesday at this week’s LIV Golf Invitational in Boston.

“I watch the Indian Premier League and T20. I remember the almost fierce opposition it received when it started,” Lahiri told the Hindustan Times on Wednesday.

“But it had the potential to change the way cricket is consumed.

“Look now, the Indian cricket management board is laughing to the banks, as are the players. Broadcasters are happy with the off-the-charts ratings,” he said.

Lahiri said he is a “big fan” of traditional five-day test cricket, but finds the short Twenty20 format pioneered by the IPL “very fun”.

“LIV could be the IPL of golf,” said the 35-year-old, ranked 92nd in the world.

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