Reports: BCCI keen on keeping Sri Lanka, South Africa as backup hosts for IPL 2022

Reports: BCCI keen on keeping Sri Lanka, South Africa as backup hosts for IPL 2022

The rising number of coronavirus cases in India has kept the BCCI thinking ahead of the upcoming IPL edition.

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

With the COVID-19 pandemic at its peak in India, there are enough doubts over the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) taking place in the country. Hence, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has kept a contingency plan in place in case the T20 tournament has to be shifted out of India.

Even as in 2020, the entire IPL took place in the United Arab Emirates, in 2021, the championship had to be partially moved out of India after emergence of COVID-19 cases in the team camps. But for the upcoming edition, the world’s richest cricket board isn’t completely dependent on the UAE.

If reports are to be believed, as a part of Plan B, the BCCI has kept South Africa and Sri Lanka as backup hosts. Back in 2009, South Africa hosted the IPL, although due to completely different reasons. Lanka is yet to host the IPL as of now.

BCCI on its toes ahead of IPL 2022

“We can’t be dependent on UAE all the time so we decided to explore more options, South Africa’s time difference also works out well for the players,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying in the New Indian Express.

South Africa, of late, has hosted two series pretty successfully. Earlier, the three-match unofficial Tests between India A and South Africa A took place after which the senior teams locked horns.

“The place where the team was staying for the second Test is spread over several acres. There were walking tracks and even a pond on the property and that has made things easier for the players who for the last couple of years or so have been confined to their rooms on several overseas tours,” an official said.

The BCCI has had it fair share of travails of late in the wake of the pandemic. The upcoming edition of the Ranji Trophy had to be postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 cases in the camps. The domestic U19 Cooch Behar Trophy had to be halted midway because of several positive cases.

The mega auction for the IPL 2022 is expected to take place in the month of February. The upcoming season is expected to be the longest since 10 teams will be taking part.