Tuesday, June 6, 2023

As Covid wave dips, IPL 2022 likely in India

The 2022 Indian Premier League is all set to be held in India. According to a top BCCI official, the cricket board has taken a decision in this regard.
Asked if the IPL could go overseas this year, the BCCI official told The Indian Express: “It will be in India.”
With the third wave of Covid tapering and schools, colleges and other educational institutes are reopening in the states, the BCCI is confident of organising this year’s IPL in India, bar any unforeseen circumstances in the future, The Indian Express reported.
For the last two years, the tournament was held in the United Arab Emirates. The 2021 IPL actually had 29 games in India before its Covid-forced postponement and the subsequent relocation to UAE. However, the BCCI feels that unlike last year, when the Covid cases were rising in April-May, the situation this time around is different. The Omicron variant of the virus is on a downward spiral and a lot more people are now double-jabbed. From January, the government has also started vaccination of children for the age group 15-18 years.
The BCCI kept South Africa as back-up options and when in December last year, the third wave of Covid was reaching its peak, it felt like, yet again the IPL would move out of India. But things have changed since. About a fortnight ago, during the IPL governing council’s meeting with the franchise owners, India emerged as a preferred choice to host the IPL this year, although the consensus among the franchise owners was to organise it in Maharashtra only, to shun air travel.
Maharashtra has four venues, three in Mumbai and the other one in Pune. For two years on the spin, UAE successfully hosted the IPL, across three venues in the country.
At the end though, the franchise owners left it to the BCCI as regards to the choice of venue this year, with a request that a final decision before the auction would help them plan their strategies. The full auction will be held in Bangalore on February 12 and 13.
The IPL has two new teams this year following the addition of the Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises and the tournament will have 74 matches. The BCCI, however, is yet to decide whether to pick Maharashtra as the sole venue or go back to normal; teams playing at their respective home grounds. State associations get Rs 1 crore per game – shared 50-50 between the franchise and the board – as hosting fee. Given that state associations/members are the BCCI’s biggest stakeholders, this is also in consideration as well.
Crowds are returning for international matches as well. The West Bengal government yesterday allowed 75 per cent of the capacity at Eden Gardens for the upcoming three T20Is between India and the West Indies.


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