The marquee IPL 2022 is set to begin on March 27, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is hopeful of conducting the entire tournament in India across 4 venues in Maharashtra – the Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium, DY Patil Stadium and the MCA Stadium in Gahunje.
The 2022 edition of the IPL will be a 10 team tournament as two new teams – Ahmedabad owned by CVC Capital and Lucknow owned by RPSG Group– are set to enter the mega auction.
The teams have already revealed their draft picks ahead of the upcoming mega auction. Ahmedabad included Hardik Pandya (Rs 15 crore), Rashid Khan (Rs 15 crore), and Shubman Gill (Rs 8 crore) in their team.
Meanwhile, Lucknow picked KL Rahul (Rs 17 crore), Marcus Stoinis (Rs 9.2 crore), and Ravi Bishnoi (Rs 4 crore) in their team. Also, with the addition of two new teams, 74 matches will be played this time instead of 60.
In a virtual meeting with the franchise owners on Saturday, the BCCI decided that the tournament will be held in India and only if the Covid-19 situation gets out of hand then the tournament could be moved overseas. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which hosted IPL 2020 and the second half of the Indian Premier League 2021, is one of the backup options and some franchises are in favour of South Africa hosting IPL 2022.
Previously there were speculations that the IPL 2022 could be played in South Africa or Sri Lanka. However, the reports of Sportstar claim that the franchises want the tournament to be held in India. Also, the spectators might not be allowed in the stadium.
“All the franchises preferred to hold it across Mumbai and Pune as it would involve no air travel and bio-bubble can be protected,” a source in the BCCI said.
“Just in case, India is not in a position to host it, it could be moved elsewhere. While most franchises prefer the UAE, as they have the experience of hosting the tournament there, a few are in favour of South Africa. But we will take a call keeping all factors in mind if and when the situation demands. For now, we are looking at hosting the entire tournament in India,” the source added.
The final decision on the venues is expected by February 20 – BCCI Official
The BCCI officials and franchises are in favour of hosting the IPL 2022 matches in Maharashtra across Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune as there are enough hotels and stadiums. A top BCCI official has said that the tournament will be played without the spectators and the final decision regarding the venue will be taken after assessing the Covid-19 situation in the country.
“As of now, we plan to host the matches without crowds, at least till the first half of the tournament. However, we are assessing the COVID-19 situation, and a final decision on the venues is expected by February 20,” a top Board official confirmed to this publication.
Also, in a virtual meeting between franchise owners, the BCCI office-bearers and the IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel, it has been decided that the mega auction will take place on February 12 & 13 in Bengaluru. However, it was decided that changes might be made in the venue if there are some problems due to Covid-19.
Previously, the IPL 2022 was scheduled to begin on April 2 because of the international fixtures of the Indian team. As India will play T20I against Sri Lanka on March 18 and the Lodha committee recommended that there needs to be a 14-day gap between the national calendar and IPL. However, the franchise owners want the tournament to commence on March 27.
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