The IPL governing council today finalised a window of April 9 to June 3 for IPL 2014 and indicated that India remained the venue of choice. However since the tournament is expected to clash with the federal elections in India, IPL officials said South Africa would be the "preferred" alternative. A final decision will be taken only after a meeting between the organisers and officials of the Indian government.
"We are considering so many options with regards to the venue. We are waiting first for the home ministry to check the possible dates," Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, told the media after the IPL governing council meeting on Thursday. "As far as possible our interest is to hold the IPL in India. Then, probably, South Africa is the preferred venue at the moment. The second option is also there and the third option is also there."
Last week, reports indicated that the IPL organisers had shortlisted Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa as potential alternative venues. Patel and Ranjib Biswal, the IPL chairman, clarified that as far as possible the BCCI wanted to hold the entire tournament in India but would consider shifting matches to South Africa if the need arose.
Biswal said he was looking forward to meeting the federal government, possibly in the following week, to check on the feasibility of holding the tournament in India.
"We will be speaking to the officials in the government of India and the home ministry," Biswal said. "We want to hold maximum number of matches in India and if we get the green signal (from the government), then probably the whole tournament can be played here."
Asked what factors he was looking to address during the meeting, Biswal said it was mostly to do with availability of security and dates. Both Biswal and Patel stated that the IPL had kept all the eight franchises in the loop. This was confirmed by the franchises, who said they had countered the possibility of some matches being held abroad while assembling their squads.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo