The next edition of IPL, which is the 12th season, will kick-off a bit early than its usual schedule because of ICC World Cup 2019. The fixture of IPL 2019 is almost clear, but there is still uncertainty about the venue. IPL may not be played in India. The tournament could be held in South Africa or the United Arab Emirates due to the Indian general elections.
Even franchise owners aren't sure about the venue and they haven't been informed as of now. In a chat with CricketNext, the Kings XI Punjab co-owner Mohit Burman said, “We have had no clarity about the venue of the IPL from the BCCI as yet. I guess they will inform us when they themselves find out. We were in this situation the last time (2009) also when the IPL was hosted in South Africa, that time we were informed one week before.
“It doesn’t affect our auction strategy too much. We will prepare to assume that the IPL is taking place in India and so will the other franchises. The situation is the same for all of them. General Elections of the country are not in anyone’s control, we’ll deal with any situation in front of us.”
IPL 2019 auction will be held at Jaipur on December 18. Delhi Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal and Burman also have no idea about the venue. They are only waiting for the auction. “No one knows where IPL-12 will be held yet,” he said. “What we can control is players we choose to buy during the auctions in Jaipur. So, we are going to focus on that.”
The international teams will call their players back for the World Cup preparation and hence, most of the players won't be available. “All teams will be wary of picking English and Australian cricketers,” Burman said. “No team wants to pick players who will not be available for the business end of the tournament.”
The general elections and World Cup has made the scheduling tough for IPL. The Lodha reforms have also asked BCCI to keep a minimum gap of 12 days between the IPL final and India's international match.
“We can’t take any decision about the venue of the IPL before the dates for the general elections are announced,” a senior BCCI official told CricketNext.
“The franchises have been apprised of the situation and they have clarity on the situation. We have a couple of options, firstly host the entire tournament out of India or the other option is to move the second half of the tournament in some place like South Africa. We have already done a recce of South Africa and have kept Cricket South Africa informed.
“The final call about the venue will be taken by the CoA because currently, IPL governing council is non-functional. CoA and more specifically chairman Vinod Rai will take the call.”
Star India, the official broadcasters had put a lot of money (Rs 16,000 crore) to get the rights of IPL. If the tournament gets shifted outside India, it will definitely affect them.
It is also said that only a few matches will be shifted outside India. In 2014, the first phase of the IPL was played in UAE and later it was shifted back to India.
(With News 18 CricketNext Input)