If the insiders in the Indian cricket fraternity are to be believed then the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in all probability will take place in foreign shores. Those who are close to the developments feel, due to the concerning number of coronavirus cases in India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might not get the required permission from the central and state governments to organise the cash-rich event in its tentative window (September-November), even if they host the entire tournament as a close-door affair.
“We are yet to decide on the venue but in all probability it is going outside this year. The condition in India doesn’t look suited to have so many teams come in at one or two venues and then create an atmosphere which will be safe for the players as well as the general public even though the games may be played behind closed doors,” a a BCCI official has been quoted saying by IANS.
As per other reports, UAE and Sri Lanka are in the the race to host the event as cricket boards of both countries have already sent formal invitation to their Indian counterparts regarding its willingness to organise this much-anticipated league.
“The race is between UAE and Sri Lanka and we will need to decide on where we host the league depending on the situation there with regards to the coronavirus pandemic. Logistics also need to be looked into, so we will decide soon,” the official further informed.
Meanwhile, in the recent past CricketNews was one of the first media outlets to report about IPL’s possible foreign travel this year.
Meanwhile, Speaking to IANS, in the know of developments said that while the idea was to play the league in the country, the situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic might force the board to ultimately take the tournament to either UAE or Sri Lanka.
Where IANS said that the decision-makers in the BCCI were divided in 3:2 ratio with regards to deciding on the venue of the league. “See, it is a case of the decision-makers being divided 3-2 if that is how you wish to understand the current scenario.
“There are a couple of voices who feel that having the tournament should be the priority and if that means taking it out of the country, so be it. So, while we are working on the overall plan, the venue is an area which will need further deliberation. Also, at the end of the day safety of the players and everyone involved is priority,” the official had explained.
IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel has also been vocal that location shouldn’t be a concern if the league is being played behind closed doors. “They (Emirates Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket) have informed us that they are prepared to host the IPL. But our first preference is India, if we get the government’s permission.
“It is certain that we cannot play at more than three or four venues in India, but the permissions will depend on how the COVID-19 outbreak pans out. Otherwise we will have to explore playing overseas, which will be the last option. Once you are playing without spectators, it doesn’t really matter where you are playing as long as it suits television timings,” Patel had told The Hindu.
The final announcement is expected soon as the ICC takes a call on the fate of the T20 World Cup which was to be held in Australia in October-November.