IPL 2019: Teams could have multiple ‘home’ venues because of Lok Sabha elections

IPL 2019: Teams could have multiple ‘home’ venues because of Lok Sabha elections

“We are working out on all the possible options,"- BCCI official.

Kane Williamson & MS Dhoni
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni and Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

It’s yet another year when the Indian Premier League (IPL) clashes with the general elections and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has to burn a lot of midnight oil to come up with a full schedule for the tournament keeping the polls in mind. The board has published a fixture for the first two weeks of the tournament starting March 23 and was waiting for the Election Commission to come up with the poll schedule before releasing the remaining fixture.

IPL and general elections will take place parallelly

The challenge lies for the BCCI to ensure each team plays two games on a home-and-away format during the elections since there will pressure on the administration to conduct the polls smoothly with its security and logistical resources. A seven-phase election will begin on April 11 and continue till May 19. The results will be announced on May 23. The IPL generally takes place for two months or so and that puts the BCCI under more difficulty in preparing the complete schedule as both the election and tournament will continue parallelly.

West Bengal, for instance, will have elections in seven phases and Kolkata-based franchise Kolkata Knight Riders will also have seven home games to be played at the Eden Gardens. The BCCI is faced with a challenge in managing such situations. “We are working out on all the possible options. It will take a bit of time before we finalise the schedule,” a Board official was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

It has also been also reported in such a situation, it is highly likely that the teams will be playing four home games while the rest of the home games will be made ‘designated’ home matches. It has been reported that the BCCI has kept venues like Rajkot, Indore, Visakhapatnam, Dharamsala and Lucknow (all these are located in states that do not have an IPL franchise) as back-ups while Rajasthan Royals could play as many as three games at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

“A lot depends on the state administration as well. If the local police assures us security then things could go smoothly. But still a lot of discussions could be required,” a franchise official was quoted as saying. BCCI officials are expected to hold talks with the local police in states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan, and others before releasing the final fixture.

Such a clash between the IPL and the Lok Sabha election happened in 2009 and 2014 as well. While the entire tournament was held in South Africa in 2009, it was partially held in the UAE five years later.

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