English countries, Sri Lanka cricket offer to host remainder of IPL 2021

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A group of UK countries have reportedly offered to host the remaining 31 matches of the pandemic-postponed Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The English counties also pledged to deliver quality cricket to top players in September window and in front of the crowd inside the stadium as a build-up to T20 World Cup which is slated to be played in October this year supposedly in India as well.

According to reports, the Kia Oval (London), Edgbaston (Birmingham) and Emirates Old Trafford and MCC, Surrey, Warwickshire, and Lancashire, who are based at Lord’s have written to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) inviting them to offer BCCI the option to host the remainder of the tournament, which was postponed due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in India.

BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said that the said offer “has not been discussed yet” as it is “too early” to decide. “We will explore all the options and see when it’s feasible to play those matches and take a call at the right time,” Dhumal said by telephone. “Right now, our immediate plan is finalise the preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup in India later this year,” he added.

Meanwhile, shortly after the English countries expressed their interest in holding the remainder of the tournament in the UK, Sri Lanka Cricket has also offered to stage the remaining games of the cash-rich T20 tournament. Prof. Arjuna de Silva, the chief of the managing committee of the SLC has confirmed that they can provide a window for the IPL.

“Yes, we can certainly provide a window to host the IPL in the month of September. We hear the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is their one option but Sri Lanka cannot be ignored for all reasons,” said Prof. Arjuna de Silva. “We are planning to host the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in July-August and the grounds and other infrastructure will be ready for the IPL in September.”

Last year, the SLC also offered to host the eight-team league during the outbreak of the pandemic which halted the 13th edition of the tournament. However, it was rejected by the BCCI and chose to hold the games in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) instead, which happened in October-November window and was won by Mumbai Indians (MI).

“IPL is huge, and everybody wants to host IPL matches. It has a massive fan following even outside India,” Dhumal added revealing that IPL’s popularity abroad and the revenue that the tournament can produce brought a lot of offers to host the competition. It is learnt that the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) got richer by 98.5 Cr. by hosting IPL 2020 in UAE.

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