South Africa and UAE have already hosted IPL matches before. (File Photo/IPL)
With the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season having been postponed indefinitely owing to the extension of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, one possibility being suggested is to hold the IPL at an alternate venue. The Sri Lanka cricket board has reportedly written to BCCI intimating them of their willingness to host the season.
Shammi Silva, the president of Sri Lanka's cricket board, told Sinhala daily Lankadeepa, "Apparently it will cost the BCCI and its stakeholders more than $500 million to cancel the IPL. If they play it in Sri Lanka, it's easy for Indian audiences to watch the games on TV. There's precedent for this because they've played the IPL in South Africa before. We're waiting for the Indian board to respond to our proposal."
“It looks like Sri Lanka will be clear of the coronavirus before India," Reuters quoted the cricket chief as saying.
Responding to Sri Lanka's proposal a senior Board official on conditions of anonymity told PTI that the board is not in a position to make a decision with almost the world being in a lockdown state.
"The BCCI will not be in a position to say anything when the world is closed," the official was quoted by PTI as saying.
He further mentioned that no such offer has been made and also remained skeptical if a meaningful discussion can take place on the subject even if it comes along.
"There is no proposal from SLC yet and obviously no discussion," the official said when asked what will be the BCCI's stand when the offer is on table.
On the other hand, Simon Katich, the head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said his team would be happy if the IPL season is shifted to countries like Australia and South Africa.
"There would be a few teams - us in particular at RCB, we'd be very happy for it to be played abroad, because a number of our overseas players are Australian and South African, who really would enjoy these conditions in Australia," Katich told SEN Radio.
There have been two past occasions when the IPL has been shifted out of the country. The UAE had hosted the first two weeks of IPL in 2014 when the Lok Sabha polls were held in India. The 2009 IPL had been moved to South Africa, also due to elections.
NEWS : IPL 2020 suspended till further notice
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 16, 2020
IPL 2020 was initially scheduled to start from March 29. Owing to the previously announced 21-day nationwide lockdown, the tournament was earlier postponed till April 15. On Thursday, the IPL Governing Council of the BCCI announced that the season was being suspended till further notice.
A BCCI statement said: "IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so...BCCI will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding a potential start date."