Saturday, 22 January 2022

Coronavirus may force IPL out of India

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LONDON: The Indian Premier League (IPL) could be moved out of the country if the coronavirus pandemic does not ease in the next two months, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told AFP on Friday.

“Let us first see, we will try to stage it in India and if the situation does not allow then we will certainly look at other options,” Patel told.

“We will see how the situation is in the next month or two and then take a call accordingly,” said Patel, adding that options included staging the cash-rich tournament abroad.

Pandemic cases have surged in the nation of 1.3 billion people. India now has the fourth highest caseload in the world, concentrated in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai which are cricket hubs.

The world’s wealthiest Twenty20 tournament has twice been held outside India in years that it clashed with national elections.

South Africa hosted the second IPL in 2009, and the first half of the 2014 season took place in United Arab Emirates.

The UAE and Sri Lankan cricket boards have already shown interest in hosting the tournament this year.

Patel said the IPL is still looking at a window ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia, which is scheduled for October-November.

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