IPL 2021: no decision yet on host country

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Governing Council discusses various options; number of venues likely to be limited

Irrespective of whether the Indian Premier League’s 2021 edition is played in India or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is likely to be staged at a limited number of venues.

The Hindu understands that the IPL Governing Council, which discussed various possibilities during its meeting on Monday, decided to wait and watch before finalising the host country for IPL 2021, which is likely to begin in the second week of April.

“The MoU with the Emirates Cricket Board has been signed for the long term, so shifting it to UAE, like in 2020, won’t be too much of a hassle,” a BCCI insider revealed.

“It will be best to wait for around a month more and judge the possible impact of the pandemic on the IPL.”

The governing council, chaired by former India cricketer Brijesh Patel, is learnt to have factored in the possibility of restricting the number of IPL venues in India, instead of allotting games to the base city of every franchise.

“Yes, that’s something that’ll need to be looked at. Four or five at the most, ideally to maintain biosecure bubbles, but the franchises will have to be taken into confidence for that,” added the source.

Should the venues be limited, the top contenders for staging the tournament include Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. These venues were under consideration even last year before the pandemic forced the BCCI to move the IPL to the UAE, where it was played at three venues.

Auction in February

The governing council also discussed the timeline for squad revision.

The franchises may be asked to confirm retained players by January 21 and a trading window may continue till the end of the month. The Player Auction will be scheduled around February 10.

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