It’s more or less official: the seventh edition of the IPL will be played partly in South Africa or the United Arab Emirates, and partly in India. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are ruled out.
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has expressed the government’s inability to provide security to the Twenty20 extravaganza because it will clash with the general elections.
The matches will be held between April 9 and June 3. Ranjib Biswal, chairman of the IPL governing council, said the elections should be over by May 11 or so. “We will try to host the last leg, including the playoffs, in India.”
This means the eight franchises could play 8-10 of their 14 league matches overseas and the remaining in India. It is understood that the BCCI has requested Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to make a presentation on the cost, stadiums and hotel facilities. In fact, a recce team from the International Management Group even visited Bangladesh and the UAE.
The IPL governing council will meet on February 28 to take a call on the host nation. Its decision will then be ratified by the BCCI working committee the same day. Both meetings will take place in Bhubaneshwar.
Chris Nenzani (CSA president) and David East (ECB chief executive), denied any contact with the BCCI.