Sri Lanka offers to host IPL as the BCCI officiate its indefinite suspension

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Following the extension of lockdown in India until May 3, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officiate the then reported suspension of the cash-rich Twenty20 competition, due to begin on March 29 and pushed back to April 15, “will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so” as the coronavirus pandemic remain uncontainable.

“The health and safety of the nation and everyone involved in our great sport remains our top priority and as such, the BCCI along with the Franchise Owners, Broadcaster, Sponsors and all the Stakeholders acknowledge that the IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said shortly after franchise officials revealed the plans to the press.

“The BCCI will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding a potential start date in close partnership with all of its stakeholders and will continue to take guidance from the Government of India, state governments and other state regulatory bodies,” Shah added. The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in India has jumped to over 12,000, including more than 400 deaths.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Cricket (CLC) chief 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. “It looks like Sri Lanka will be clear of the coronavirus before India,” SLC president Shammi Silva told the press. “If so, we can host the tournament here. We will be writing to the Indian cricket board soon.”

At the time of writing, Sri Lanka has less than 300 cases and only 7 fatalities from the deadly virus. “If the Indian board does agree to play the tournament here, we’re ready to provide facilities in line with the requirements and recommendations of medical professionals. It would be a substantial source of income for Sri Lankan cricket as well,” Silva added.

Previously, South Africa hosted the second IPL in 2009, and the first half of the 2014 season took place in the UAE. Royal Challengers Bangalore coach and former Australian opener Simon Katich said the possibility of hosting the tournament abroad again is worth discussing. “Whether it would be in Australia (or elsewhere), that’s an interesting topic of conversation,” Katich told reporters.

Earlier, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had hinted at a further postponement of the cash-rich league. In an interview, Ganguly told an Indian press that “when life has come to a standstill everywhere in the world, where does sport have a future in this.” Previous reports said that the board are aiming for the window of October-November to organize the IPL.

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