Indian Premier League news February 28, 2014

Two-week IPL window likely in India


Not more than two of the seven weeks of the Indian Premier League's seventh edition are likely be played in India, it was confirmed at the BCCI working committee held in Bhubaneswar on Friday. IPL 2014, which will have to be moved out of India due to its clash with the federal elections, will return to India after May 15 - the expected date on which elections will end.

Even though the working committee could not finalise the venues and tentative schedule during its meeting in Bhubaneswar on Friday, it decided that the last fortnight of the tournament, in all likelihood, will be played in India. The final decision about the IPL venues will be taken only after the election dates are announced.

The BCCI's working committee was briefed about presentations made by the boards of South Africa, UAE, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which were shortlisted as alternate venues for the IPL. A team from IMG, the event organisers, had recced the venues and the committee was told that South Africa, UAE and Bangladesh were the preferred alternatives. A final decision, IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal said, would be taken at a governing council meeting likely to be held on March 6.

"A final decision on IPL venues will be taken after getting the schedule of general elections," BCCI president N Srinivasan said after the meeting. "If necessary, part of the matches would be played abroad. IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal has informed us that South Africa, Bangladesh and UAE have expressed interest to host the matches."

South Africa, having hosted the IPL in 2009, are the front-runners with "lack of turnouts at the stadium" being the only bit of a concern, according to a member who attended the working committee meeting. He added that the UAE will be a "logistical challenge" with all domestic travel required to be done by road. "Besides, proximity to the betting mafia looms large when it comes to the UAE," he said. Bangladesh's preparedness, or the lack of it, to host another big event after staging the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20 may work against them.

The dates of federal elections are likely to be announced in the coming week. Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, had said after the IPL auction that the BCCI will try and organise the IPL in India, provided the government allows it to. Last week, India's home minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, in a meeting with Patel informed the BCCI that the government wasn't in a position to provide security to the IPL amid polls. Thus, the BCCI was left with no choice to play the first month of the IPL away from home.

In the wake of the spot-fixing scandal during IPL 2013, which resulted in the arrests of three Rajasthan Royals players and a Chennai Super Kings official, questions have been raised about anti-corruption measures during the league. Biswal stressed that the BCCI has increased its efforts in spreading awareness among the teams. "Both the players and franchises are being educated on how to avoid match-fixing," Biswal said. "We have already identified some persons who need to be avoided in order to make IPL matches transparent."

The working committee was also briefed about the positive impact of the proposed changes in the ICC on the coffers of all the BCCI affiliates. Having played a major role in converting the ICC's Future Tours Programme into bilateral agreements, India is set to host at least two full series at home every year after the 2015 World Cup. The benefits were explained to the working committee in detail. "It was explained to us that this will result in every state association's annual income going up by approximately Rs 15 crore (US$ 2.4 million approx.)," another member said.

This would mean that the annual share of each affiliate unit's income would rise close to Rs 40 crore with effect from 2015-16. Besides, more centers would be able to host international matches. In an attempt to take Test cricket to smaller centers, the BCCI has requested Test status to be awarded to the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi and Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. A joint delegation of the BCCI and ICC inspected facilities at both the venues earlier this week. If the ICC declares these two stadiums fit to stage Test matches, the BCCI AGM will award the status to both venues. This would take the number of Test centers in India to 12.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    I am literly watiing 2 ipl get started fast one disaponntment is its not going 2 happining in inda

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    UAE could be a good option, considering the no. of Indians residing there. And its near to India as well. If it is held in South Africa, then I'm sorry that, it is too far, and the whole tournament should be held there, or else, a break of one week is needed.

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    @karan1609 I don't see why games can't be held in West Indies.... 9:30am start.... All international games start by then ... Would be 7pm in India... I don't see your point.... Besides that no matter what time the ipl starts, people will get up and make time to watch it. I live in Canada and we get up as early as 4am sometimes to watch the game. Just because the it's early for the Indian crowd makes everyone else non existent.... 85% of the viewers that watch ipl are from outside India

  • Varunn on March 4, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    @Derek-We won't mind hosting IPL in Pakistan...but that will detract all the international players from the tournament...besides it's not BCCI who stops Indian cricket team from playing against is our govt...cuz had it been BCCI, India won't have played Pakistan in Asia Cup..

  • Chetan on March 3, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    @Inside-Hedge, IPL is not about cricket, it is entertainment pure & simple. Entertainment needs paying spectators - on ground OR on TV. WI - It would be impossible to schedule matches at timings convenient to Indian viewers. This will impact ad revenue for TV Channels. In addition - can the WI public pay big money for tickets ? Wherever outside India IPL goes, there will be a drastic drop in on-ground SA - afternoon matches will create convenient timings for the Indian public, making at least the TV viewership viable.

  • Android on March 2, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Moving the IPL to Pakistan could be a great way to heal some old wounds and a welcome return of international cricket.

  • Android on March 2, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    @King you decide on what matter most and prioritise accordingly. Surely all the sports can be watched once you complete your exams unless your presence is needed to determine the outcomes.

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    Wouldn't Sri Lanka be the nearest and coolest logistically, just 18 miles away from India.

  • Niraj on March 1, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    IPL could be abandoned so i could pass my exams !!! Asia Cup,World T20 follwed by IPL its not looking good for me to pass the exams

  • Nick on March 1, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    @Tarun Bajaj WHAT?? I just .... I mean .... just ... WHAT???

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