IPL 2019 venue under speculation due to clash of dates with LS elections


With this year’s Lok Sabha elections likely to clash with the dates of Indian Premier League (IPL), the Indian cricket board (BCCI) is now seriously exploring the option of hosting the cash-rich T20 tournament outside India.

While nothing has so far been said on the issue, a recent meeting of BCCI mandarins with the sports ministry officials has set off speculation that the board might indeed be looking at options to shift this year’s IPL to foreign shores. The IPL has twice been hosted abroad — in 2009 (South Africa) and 2014 (partly in UAE) — because of general elections.

It’s been learnt that a BCCI delegation met ministry officials – apparently on the directions of BCCI CEO Rahul Johri – to understand government guidelines regarding the hosting of a tournament abroad. IPL formed a major part of the discussion. BCCI has been hosting the IPL since 2008 and is fully aware of the formalities regarding the organisation of the event in the country. Hence, the inference being drawn from this meeting is that BCCI could be looking at a foreign venue for the 12th edition of the tournament.

“We explained to them that the key parties concerned are the ministries of home and external affairs. Apart from the other two ministries, the sports ministry’s approval is required only in case of hosting the tournament in India. Still, they (BCCI delegates) wanted to make sure about the paperwork or permissions required on the sports ministry’s part,” a source close to the development told TOI.

Johri had recently stated that the BCCI was working towards hosting the IPL in India, since the official broadcaster and all eight franchises were against the idea of taking the tournament to a foreign location. Logistical hassle and revenue loss always remain important factors. But BCCI’s hand has been forced in the election year due to the government’s inability to provide security for the event.

Other than polls, the IPL this time has to contend with the World Cup also, which will be held from May 30 to July 14 in England. Usually, the IPL starts in the first week of April and concludes in the last week of May. But that won’t be the case this time. According to Justice Lodha committee recommendations, a 15-day window is mandatory between the IPL and any upcoming international fixture.

Now, adhering to this recommendation and to avoid a clash with the World Cup, the IPL has to start in the last week of March, so that the tournament can conclude by mid-May. However, that could mean a clash with the general elections.

Some reports have suggested that the BCCI is looking at three possible locations if it decides to move the league abroad — South Africa, UAE and England.

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Publish date : 2019-01-03 07:17:00

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