The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly narrowed down five venues to host the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India. However, there is still no clarity whether the tournament will take place in India or once again shift to the UAE.
Meanwhile, a report in Sportstar suggests that the IPL Governing Council chaired by Brijesh Patel has adopted a wait and watch policy before finalising the venue for IPL 2021 which is likely to start in the second week of April. For BCCI, shifting the tournament to the UAE will not be difficult as they have signed a long-term Memorandum of Understanding with the Emirates Cricket Board.
BCCI finalises 5 venues for IPL 2021
“The MoU with the Emirates Cricket Board has been signed for long-term so shifting it to UAE like in 2020 won’t be too much of a hassle,” revealed a BCCI insider. “It will be best to wait for a month more and judge the possible impact of the pandemic on the IPL,” he added.
The Governing Council is understood to have factored in the possibility of restricting the IPL venues in India, instead of allotting games to the base city of every franchise. In that case, the top contenders for staging the tournament include Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata.
Incidentally, these venues were under consideration even last year before the pandemic forced the BCCI to move IPL to three venues in the UAE. However, a lot depends on the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy scheduled to start from January 10 in six cities and will be played in bio-bubble.
IPL mini-auction to take place in February
A report in Mumbai Mirror suggests that the auction will take place in the second week of February. There were rumours that BCCI is keen to host a mega auction but Mumbai Mirror reported that it is unlikely to happen. Instead, there will be a mini-auction that will benefit franchises like Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.
Meanwhile, the report also adds that BCCI has already opened the trading window and the franchisees are asked to release players by January 21.