Earlier this week, a senior Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official claimed that New Zealand, an island nation, which has set example with the way it has contained COVID-19, has offered to host the postponed Indian Premier League (IPL). Contrary to the reports, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has denied the said offer saying that it was “simply speculation”.
Speaking to Radio New Zealand, NZC’s spokesperson Richard Boock confirmed the board hasn’t contacted BCCI regarding IPL. “We have not offered to host the IPL nor have we had an approach to do so,” Boock was quoted as saying. Boock’s statement came just days after the reports circulating New Zealand’s involment in hosting the IPL, joining UAE and Sri Lanka.
“This rumour is inaccurate. New Zealand would not be in a position to host the IPL – even if we were asked, which we haven’t been. The dates, and NZC’s commitment to honouring its Future Tours programme, means the timing would not allow this to happen,” Boock added. Even if the reports are true, staging the tournament in a country with seven and half hour time difference seems impossible.
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The BCCI is open to take the tournament out of the country. However, hosting the tournament in India is their “priority”. The BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, insisted that they would like to host then 13th edition of the IPL this year and their first priority is to have the cash-rich league in the country itself. At the time of writing, India having is the third largest case load of coronavirus cases behind Brazil and USA.
Previously, Sri Lanka Cricket (CLC) chief Shammi Silva has offered to host the eight-team league while the Indian governing body finds a “safe” window later in the year to hold the tournament. Shortly after this offer, the United Arab Emirates, which had hosted the first leg of IPL in 2014, has emerged as one of the options as the governing body received an offer from the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB)
In 2009, South Africa hosted the second IPL, while the first half of the 2014 season took place across three stadiums in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. UAE hosted the first 20 matches of IPL 2014 as the April leg of the tournament was shifted out of the country due to General Elections. The tournament was completed in India where Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned champions later.
Earlier, reports also claims that the competition, due to begin on March 29 and pushed back to April 15, will be set to commence with the idea of “one city only tournament” in October. Despite the the worst-hit cities in India the same report claims that the BCCI is looking to host the 2020 edition of the IPL in Mumbai, maintaining a bio-bubble, according to the same rep
Meanwhile, the governing body is looking at the possibility of holding the IPL in the October-November window depending on a final call on the fate of the T20 World Cup. The BCCI had also said that the IPL may be conducted irrespective of the ICC’s decision on the T20 World Cup, and the decision will be taken in the next IPL governing council’s meeting.
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