• Saturday, May 28, 2022
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 506,520
Total Cases 42,478,060
Today's Fatalities 1,217
Today's Cases 67,084
India corona update 
Total Fatalities 506,520
Total Cases 42,478,060
Today's Fatalities 1,217
Today's Cases 67,084

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IPL 2022 to kick off in March last week: BCCI secretary

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Indian cricket board (Board of Control for Cricket in India) will conduct the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year from the last week of March to end of May and efforts will be made to host the event in India to honour the wishes of the team owners, board secretary Jay Shah said on Saturday (22).

If sources are to be believed, the tentative start date of the lucrative T20 event is March 27. Ten teams will take part in this year’s edition in place of usual eight with Lucknow and Ahmedabad joining the fray as latest franchises.

‘Team owners want tournament to be held in India’

“I am delighted to confirm that the 15th season of the IPL will start in the last week of March and will run until May end. A majority of the team owners expressed their wish that the tournament be held in India,” Shah was quoted as saying in a press note issued by the BCCI.

He also made it clear that the board’s first preference is to hold the event in India.

“The BCCI was always keen on staging the 2022 edition that will see two new teams – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – in India. I can tell you that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that IPL stays in India,” Shah said.

While the United Arab Emirates and South Africa are back-up options as per sources who attended the meeting, Shah said the health safety of all stakeholders, including players and match officials, is paramount for the board.

“The BCCI has not compromised on the health and safety of its stakeholders in the past and will concurrently work on Plan B since the Covid-19 situation with new variants remains fluid.

“The mega IPL Auction will take place on February 12-13th and we will lock in venues before that,” Shah, son of India’s home affairs minister Amit Shah, said.

The BCCI was initially mulling two start dates for the next IPL with some preferring a March 27 kick-off and few other influential people wanting the mega event to begin on April 2, which conforms to the Lodha Committee ruling.

“Some of the owners prefer March 27 start but India play their last international game against Sri Lanka, a T20I at Lucknow on March 18, and then you need a 14-day gap as per Lodha rule which is why April 2 is also an option for start date,” a senior BCCI official told the Press Trust of India on the condition of anonymity.

It is understood that India players will also be exhausted after staying in three back-to-back bubbles in South Africa (away) and at home against West Indies and Sri Lanka.

“The BCCI must take bubble fatigue of players into account if they start IPL in less than 10 days of completion of the Sri Lanka tour,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by PTI.

However, after Shah’s statement, it seems March 27 will be locked in.

The IPL’s upcoming edition could also see a narrowed-down focus with Mumbai and Pune serving as the venues and Ahmedabad hosting the final.

It has also been learnt that all the 10 IPL owners want India to host the entire tournament, The UAE could be the second choice where the IPL has been held a number of times, sometime in phases due to factors such as election and coronavirus pandemic, while South Africa held the entire tournament in 2009.

However, the UAE and South Africa will only come into the picture if the Covid-19 situation in the country gets worse.

As far as the dates of the mega auction is concerned, they remain February 12 and 13 with Bengaluru as the host.

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