Desperate to keep a bulk of the IPL matches in India, the BCCI on Friday decided to wait till the announcement of the dates of general elections before finalising the venues of the Twenty20 mega-event, a part of which will have to be held abroad due to security issues.
The BCCI’s working committee met in Bhubaneswar on Friday to discuss the matter days after the Home Ministry made it clear that it would not be able to provide security for the event due to the elections set for April-May.
The elections are set to clash with the IPL window, which has been kept from April 9 to June 3.
“A final decision on IPL venues will be taken after getting the schedule of general elections,” BCCI president N. Srinivasan said after the meeting in Bhubaneswar.
“If necessary, part of the matches would be played abroad. IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal has informed that South Africa, Bangladesh and UAE have expressed interest to host the matches,” he told reporters.
While South Africa is the front-runner having had the experience of hosting the second season of IPL, United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also among the countries being considered for the event to be held between April 9 to June 3 window.
But the BCCI is keen to keep a majority of the mates in India due to immense pressure from the sponsors.
South Africa has the best facilities to host an event of IPL’s magnitude. Their strained relationship with the BCCI notwithstanding, South Africa has the best grounds and the timing of the matches would suit the Indian TV viewers.
UAE is also favourable venue as they now have two more stadiums apart from the Sharjah ground in Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.