Despite all that has been going on with the IPL 2018 retention policy and the players that have been retained the eight franchises for the 11th edition of the league, there comes a shocking report which suggests that the 12th edition of Indian Premier League might be organized outside India.
For the unknown, in the last one decade, Indian Premier League was organized outside India on two different occasions in the past, with the 2009 edition being played in South Africa since the General Elections were scheduled at the same time. Then, in 2014, IPL traveled abroad but to UAE for the first two weeks due to the clashing of dates with the general elections.
Nothing on paper yet, however, the Indian cricket board is already working out contingency plans, to shift its multi-million dollar property overseas. Unless early elections are called for, which is a possibility that cannot be ruled out entirely, India is gearing up for a full-scale nationwide ballot in April-May.
In 2019 as well, the dates of General Elections will be clashing with the Indian Premier League as the polls will be held between March and July and according to a report, BCCI is having sleepless nights to decide a new venue for IPL 12, if the situation asks for it.
Let it be known that South Africa is the most preferred destination for all T20 league including CLT20 and IPL over the likes of England and Australia due to the country’s paper-tight logistics and security during such tournaments.
The report by Times of India, which talks about Indian Premier League hosting its 12th edition outside India, also adds that BCCI will have two options if they are forced to host the tournament somewhere else. If the whole tournament has to be shifted, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has to be called in order to collaborate once again for the 12th edition of the league. On the other hand, if the tournament has to be partially shifted, just like 2014, IPL will travel to UAE.
For the BCCI, the IPL 2019, is already a logistical nightmare because of the Lodha Committee recommendations, according to which, the Indian cricket board will have to ensure a 15-day window between the conclusion of Indian Premier League and the beginning of ICC World Cup 2019. Apart from that, there is also an ICC regulation which demands all participating nations to arrive at the host nation, two weeks prior to the World Cup.
Keeping all this in mind, the Indian Premier League will definitely have to be organized outside India in order to keep a check on any mishappening during the general election season, which is going to be the most talked about event of next year.
As for Cricket South Africa, hosting IPL 2019 will definitely give a boost to their non-international schedule as their own Global T20 League has been postponed and the country has not hosted any major sporting tournament except the FIFA World Cup. Even the response to ICC World Cup 2003 was pale in comparison to that of IPL 2019.
Everything said and done, while there is still a lot of time for the BCCI to fix the schedule of the league for next year, all eyes are focused on IPL’s 11th season which is said to be held from April 4 to May 27 with fresh auctions generating more interest for the tournament.