IPL 2022 to kick off on March 27 in India and event to be held behind closed doors.
The most awaited news has arrived this afternoon on January 22, 2022 as it has been learnt that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to start the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) from March 27. It has been learnt from sources that the decision has been taken after BCCI held a meeting with the owners of IPL teams on Saturday.
Mumbai, Pune could host the entire tournament
As per the final discussions, the BCCI has shown full interest in holding the tournament in Maharashtra while the first game could likely occur in Mumbai.
If reports are to trusted then the Indian cricket board is also trying to make all the possible arrangements to conduct the entire competition in India itself, i.e., Mumbai and Pune, consisting of four grounds being situated close to each other which could end up being the possible four venues.
In the meeting, the owners of the IPL teams including the Ambanis, N Srinivasan, Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Parth Jindal were present along with the promoters of the two new teams- Ahmedabad and Lucknow. The conference was mainly about the venues; while reports have also told that the biggest cricket league of the world may kick off in the last week of March and may finish in the last week of May.
BCCI has kept the second option in UAE and South Africa
The rising COVID cases are making it tough for the organizers and that has forced them to keep United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South Africa as the other two options.
The problem with UAE is the dew factor in the months of April and May. The desert kingdom had seen so many of its games being largely shifted towards the teams who bat first. The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 had found the problem in most of its games. The toss factor being the main reason of the result hasn’t provided happiness to any of the stakeholders.
Most franchises seem to have preferred Mumbai; even though BCCI members were in the group of moving the tournament to South Africa. No air travel from one ground to another ground in Mumbai seem to have kept the option ahead than other ones.
However, the final decision will be taken on February 20 based on the COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra, the BCCI has told to the owners. The fact that the schools in that state are going to reopen from January 24 was a point of encouragement for the authorities.
Mega Auction to be held on February 12 and 13
Meanwhile, the Indian cricket board has also informed the owners of IPL teams that there is no plan to change the date or venue of the IPL-15 mega auction; it is going to be held on February 12 and 13, in Bengaluru, as originally planned.
BCCI in talks with Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA)
Since it is also being considered that the BCCI can arrange the league behind closed doors to prevent any kind of possibilities of spread of COVID cases, they have also started discussions with the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) about staging the competition.