Mumbai: It is not just the political parties which are keeping an eye on the Election Commission, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India too is keeping tabs as the IPL dates are sure to clash with cricket’s mega even this year.
Working out the IPL schedule is itself a headache, but doing a tightrope walk with the dates of election in mind, is a logistical nightmare.
Sources in the BCCI told The Free Press Journal that the jigsaw will eventually fall in place and they would negotiate with the Government to make sure that it is a profitable season for IPL, with minimum compromise. The uncertainty is expected to be cleared by the second week of January. Sources elaborated on the possibilities, if the dates clash, and the FPJ is given to understand, three countries have been suggested — South Africa, UAE and England.
However, the BCCI, which has faced a similar situation earlier, is of the opinion that a tournament overseas would tarnish the image of the IPL in general. Moving out would cost the franchises on logistics and branding while the telecasters are sceptical about the viewership because of the timings.
England would be costlier and there are only two venues in UAE, the Dubai International cricket Stadium and the Sheikh Zayed in Abu Dhabi, which would not be enough for the eight teams. That brings focus on the usual suspect – South Africa.
There has also been talk about the Indian economy losing out on revenue which would be generated by IPL. It is also revealed that that Star sports India, which paid a record-breaking amount of Rs16,347.5 crore for five-year term from 2018-2022 to secure the rights, are not in favour of IPL being shifted out of the country.