IPL governing council looking to conduct matches in Kolkata after state election results

IPL governing council looking to conduct matches in Kolkata after state election results

The fresh uprise in cases in Maharashtra might force IPL to not consider Mumbai and Pune.

IPL Auction 2021
IPL Auction 2021. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Some of the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams have started to prepare for the upcoming season. However, there hasn’t been any official decision made on the venues for the tournament, which has also not allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to announce the schedule of the tournament. 

The last update which had come was that IPL Governing Council will take the final call during a meeting, but no date has been fixed for that yet. It has been speculated that the tournament will start on April 10, or sometime around those dates. The window for the tournament has been finalized, but the venue has been a concern. 

After successfully conducting two domestic competitions with 37 teams participating in it along with the ongoing England tour of India, BCCI had set their eyes on hosting the 2021 edition in India. The last season had to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates due to the coronavirus pandemic which had caused havoc in India at some point. 

Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad in the frame for IPL 2021

BCCI had originally marked out Mumbai and Pune, two cities in Maharashtra with proper cricket stadiums and facilities along with Ahmedabad, which is currently hosting the India-England Test series. These three venues were looked at as an option to play the IPL 2021. However, with COVID-19 cases rising in Maharashtra, the state government imposed new restrictions. 

The three-match ODI series between India and England, which was supposed to be played in Pune, was restricted from having crowds in the stands. This had forced the IPL to look for a different solution. Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad have been shortlisted as the venues for the 2021 edition of the cash-rich league. 

As per the reports published on ESPNCricinfo, IPL governing council has been waiting for the election poll dates of some states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, so that the schedule doesn’t clash with the tournament. The elections in Tamil Nadu are scheduled for April 7. In West Bengal, the election will be conducted in phases between the end of March and the end of April. The results will come out on May 4. IPL has been thinking of organizing a chunk of matches in Kolkata, once the election results are out.