It’s between India and South Africa now. The IPL governing council on Thursday categorically said the seventh edition of the tournament would be played in South Africa if it had to be moved out of India. Bangladesh and UAE too, were in the short-list earlier, but no longer feature in the race.
“South Africa is a favourite to host the IPL if it goes out of India. We have been communicating with the Union home ministry and have received fillers from them. But we will officially meet them next week and take a call within the next ten days,” said IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal. He said that the dates have been tentatively set for April and May. “We have a window from April 9 to June 3 and we want to obviously hold maximum matches in India,” he said.
BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said they have been constantly communicating with the franchises. “We are in constant touch with the franchises. We have had a series of meetings with them on the issue and we are also taking owners into confidence,” he said.
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Asked if the indecision is making things harder for the team managements, he said: “Don’t think so. They know and understand the situation and should be ready for all possibilities.”
Old hurdle: General elections
The upcoming edition of the IPL will clash with the general elections and according to some franchise insiders, it would be “really difficult” to hold the tournament during that period. They also feel that in case of South Africa hosting it, the entire tournament is likely to be played there. The IPL was held in South Africa in 2009 as well because of the general elections in India. The franchises used this knowledge to load up on players who they think will be of good value in South Africa, especially domestic pacers.
Meanwhile, Biswal informed that a booklet will be published, giving the dos and don’ts as a part of the anti-corruption measures. “We have already given them clear guidelines. We will publish a booklet and arrange for video presentations to inform the franchises what to do and what not to. We are taking every possible step to ensure a corruption-free tournament,” said Biswal.