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It has been reported that next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) could be held in South Africa since the tournament is set to clash with the general elections in India.
It is understood that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has informed the eight franchises about the possibility of the IPL being shifted to South Africa, which also hosted the 2009 edition of the competition.
Given that the 2019 World Cup will begin on May 30, the BCCI has to ensure the IPL concludes 15 days before the quadrennial event starts.
According to sources, the BCCI is considering starting next year’s IPL in the third week of March.
Before the BCCI makes a final decision, members of the franchises will meet with the IPL General Council.
“Considering that talks of early elections have died down, we can only assume that it would be held as usual in the months of April and May,” a source close to the situation told The New Indian Express. “Even though the IPL is starting by the third week of March, we cannot shift the tournament mid-way, because that means teams will have to adjust to conditions at the business end of the tournament.
“With South Africa being Plan A, the conditions are vastly different and it would require major tinkering of strategies and what not. England was also thought of, but the weather will not be ideal and UAE, by virtue of having only three venues, cannot host the whole IPL. That’s why South Africa is ideal. Not only it has many venues, even their players can play the whole tournament.”
The teams are likely to be told where the tournament will be held before the auction takes place.
“If we narrow down on a venue, then teams can pick players accordingly keeping in mind the local condition,” the source said.