There is no clarity whether the Indian Premier League in 2021 will be held in India or the United Arab Emirates, but the IPL Governing Council discussed the possibilities of limited venues in its first meeting on Monday.
Sportstar understands that the Governing Council, chaired by former India cricketer Brijesh Patel, decided to wait and watch before finalising the host country of IPL 2021, likely to begin in the second week of April.
“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.”
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. “Yes, that’s something that will need to be looked at. Four or five at the most, ideally to maintain bio-secure bubbles, but the franchises will have to be taken into confidence for that,” added the source.
In case of limited venues, the top contenders for staging the tournament include Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. These venues were under consideration even last year before the pandemic forced the BCCI to move IPL to three venues in the UAE.
Auction in February
The Governing Council also discussed timeline for the franchises to revise squads. The franchises may be asked to confirm retained players by January 21 and a trading window may continue till the end of the month. The Player Auction will be scheduled around February 10.
The BCCI is expected to formally announce the timelines later this week, once president Sourav Ganguly is discharged from the hospital.