IPL 2020 likely to happen in Sri Lanka or UAE depending on the situation: BCCI official

A BCCI official has confirmed that IPL is unlikely to take place in India. UAE and Sri Lanka have emerged as front-runners to stage the tournament.

The 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) looks all but set to be moved out of the country. In a recent conversation with IANS, a BCCI official hinted that the tournament is moving out this year. He picked Sri Lanka and UAE as front-runners to host the tournament. The report adds that BCCI is waiting for an official word regarding the future of T20 World Cup before taking a final decision regarding IPL 2020.

“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,” the official told IANS.

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“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,” he added.

ICC has conducted a number of meetings so far but is yet to deliver a final word regarding the future of the seventh edition of the T20 World Cup. The apex board is expected to announce its final decision in the third week of July.

As far as IPL is concerned, BCCI hasn’t cancelled the league and hopes to stage the tournament in September-October. However, the number of positive COVID-19 is on a rise in the country, which could see the league getting cancelled. Hence, the board is keeping all options open and is ready to move IPL outside India. BCCI will suffer a loss of Rs 4,000 crore should it be forced to cancel the cash-rich league.

The board, in past, has staged IPL in other countries. In 2009, the complete tournament was played in South Africa while in 2014, the first 20 matches were played in UAE. Since UAE has hosted IPL in past, it remains the front-runner. Apart from hosting IPL, UAE was India’s home in Asia Cup 2018 as BCCI was the host country of the previous edition.

Sri Lanka, another strong contender to host the league, welcomed back competitive cricket on Monday. SL’s government lifted the nationwide lockdown last week.