While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is keen to host the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India this year, however, they have kept the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a back-up venue as well in case things get haywire.
The BCCI and IPL council did a commendable job in organizing the tournament in UAE last year – the IPL 2020 was delayed and then shifted to the middle-eastern country owing to the movement restrictions and logistical issues in India because of the covid-19 pandemic.
However, the Sourav Ganguly-led panel will try its best to stage the tournament this year in its parent country itself. On Wednesday the date for the player auction for IPL 2021 was announced – 18th February in Chennai.
According to a report in the Times of India, the BCCI while has India as the preferred venue for IPL 2021, but if, in case, they need to, they have put the UAE as an alternative. Three cities, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah hosted the league last season – since the cities were close to each other, logistics and travelling were managed comfortably.
“A call on the venue is likely to be taken after the mini-auction on Feb 18. BCCI is looking at all options. Hosting the IPL in India is always the priority but the logistics need to be checked. UAE is still an option since the logistics are more or less in place there. BCCI had also signed an MoU and hosting agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board in September,” a senior BCCI official told Times Of India.
BCCI to decide IPL 2021 venue after the mini-auction
The report further adds that the BCCI will fix down the venue for the mega-event after the mini-auction – making the lack of information over the venues a dilemma for the franchises while going in the auction about the building of their squads. All eight IPL teams have announced the list of the released and retentions players for the upcoming tournament.
“Franchises have historically picked squads based on the conditions they are going to play in. As of now, nothing has been ruled out. UAE is still very much an option. BCCI is yet to communicate with the franchises about the venues,” the official added.
Meanwhile, India, fresh from their historic triumph in Australia, is set to host Joe Root’s England for a full-fledged tour comprising of 4 Tests, 5 T20Is, and 3 ODIs. The BCCI is also trying to seek permission for hosting crowd in the last couple of Tests in Ahemdabad followed by the T20I and ODI series against Eoin Morgan’s side.
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