Reports: BCCI mulling to start IPL 2022 from March 27

Reports: BCCI mulling to start IPL 2022 from March 27

As per the previous plans, the league was set to go underway from April 2.

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

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is mulling to prepone the start of the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). As per the initial plans, the league was set to go underway on April 2, although the new date is likely to be March 27 after discussions during the meeting with IPL team owners.

The upcoming edition is set to feature ten teams, with two new franchises – based in Lucknow and Ahmedabad – joining the existing pool of eight. This also means an increase in fixtures from 60 to 74, with the tournament likely to last over 60 days. Each team will play 14 league contests – seven home and as many away.

Meanwhile, another key area to be decided is the venue for the event as India is witnessing a massive upsurge in Covid-19 cases over the last month. The previous two editions of the tournament were forced out of the country due to the pandemic situation, with the 2020 edition taken in its entirety to the UAE, while one half of 2021 was conducted at the same venue after the tournament was halted midway through upon the emergence of multiple positive cases during the first leg in India.

No change in mega auction venue

Multiple reports suggest that South Africa and Sri Lanka are potential options on the BCCI radar but the board and all IPL stakeholders are inclined to conduct the league in India, even if it means organising it at limited venues in a bid to mitigate the chances of any disruptions and maintain stringent bio-secure environment. As has been widely reported, Mumbai and Pune are frontrunners to host given the availability of four grounds located close by.

UAE, it is learnt, was once again a part of the discussion in the January 22 meeting, but was voted against on the ground of dew, the presence of which will be felt in April and May in the desert. In the backdrop of the recent-most edition of the T20 World Cup at the venue, when the chasing teams ended up enjoying a significant advantage because of dew, it was agreed that the gulf country will not be an ideal place to take the event.

Furthermore, the discussions were believed to be on regarding the venue of the mega auction too, which is scheduled in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13. As the majority of the IPL franchise officials and other stakeholders are based in Mumbai, the city was being seen as an option that would cut down travel and help in other logistical arrangements. However, it is all but confirmed that there will not be any change regarding the venue at this point in time.