Jan 14 (TimesNowNews) – The dark clouds of Covid-19 are hovering on the Indian Premier League (IPL) again, with there being little to no clarity over where the 2022 edition of the tournament will be held. It is now being reported that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is keeping South Africa and Sri Lanka as possible venues for the forthcoming season, as Plan B.
The original plan of the Indian board remains to have a home-away format with 10 venues being used for the 15th edition of the league. However, with the 3rd wave of Covid-19 still looking to be in its nascent stage, not much can be said of what the situation of the virus would be in the country in the coming two months.
The BCCI has also been contemplating the idea of organising the entire league in Maharashtra. However, with the state reporting the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country at present, the plan doesn’t look as fruitful as it should.
Hence, as per a report in Indian Express, the board will organise the T20 league in South Africa or Sri Lanka if India’s situation doesn’t improve. UAE, where the IPL was held fully in 2020 and partially in 2021, is not being seen as the only viable backup option.
“We can’t be dependent on UAE all the time so we decided to explore more options, South Africa’s time difference also works out well for the players,” said a BCCI official.
The Indian cricket team is presently in South Africa where they will play 3 ODIs after the conclusion of the 3-match Test series. Though there were doubts over India’s tour of the nation initially, the manner in which the bilateral assignment has been held so far, has given BCCI the confidence of seeing the Rainbow Nation as a possible option for IPL 2022.
“The place where the team was staying for the second Test is spread over several acres. There were walking tracks and even a pond on the property and that has made things easier for the players who for the last couple of years or so have been confined to their rooms on several overseas tours,” said an official.
The Omicron threat has already been nullified in South Africa, with the country also lifting restrictions that were imposed roughly a month ago. Hence, South Africa remains a potent option to host IPL season 2022 if India remains unsafe.