Most IPL matches to be held in India

Most IPL matches to be held in India

The BCCI once again postponed the announcement of the offshore venue to host the initial instalment of the Indian Premier League matches but maintained that the majority (60 to 70 per cent) of the cash-rich twenty20 tournament will be held in India after the dates of the general elections were finalised on Wednesday.  

The decision to host “bulk of the matches” in India was taken after a meeting of the BCCI bigwigs, including its president N Srinivasan, senior vice-president Rajeev Shukla, secretary Sanjay Patel, IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal and CEO Sundar Raman here.

Biswal insisted that since IPL is a domestic event, their main objective was to conduct majority of the matches in India.

“Now that the elections dates have been finalised, we are working towards hosting bulk of the matches in India. Since it is the Indian Premier League we need to accommodate as many matches in India,” Biswal told reporters after coming out from a meeting of the IPL governing council.”

Biswal said the foreign venue for the matches clashing with election dates would be decided in a couple of days. “Today, we discussed foreign venues but we haven’t decided yet as we need a couple of days more to finalise the offshore venue,” he said.

The election commission announced the dates of the 16th Lok Sabha polls, which will be held over nine phases from April 7 to May 12, the highest number of phases so far. The counting of votes in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies will be done on May 16.

According to sources in the BCCI, the Twenty20 event — the window of which has been kept from April 9 to June 3 — will be shifted to India after the counting of votes.

“After May 16, IPL 7 matches will be held in India,” a source added.

Besides South Africa, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bangladesh are the other countries which are in fray to host part of IPL 7.

While South Africa would have been the preferred venue given its experience of hosting the league in 2009, the logistical issues of shifting the tournament to India at later stages has become a hindrance. Also, the differences in playing conditions has forced some franchises to oppose SA as a prospective venue. The image of UAE as haven of match-fixing and betting goes against it, leaving Bangladesh the likely venue.

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