BCCI ‘determined’ to keep IPL 2019 in India

The Lok Sabha elections are due for 2019, but Board secretary Amitabh Choudhary says efforts are being made to make sure the tourney stays in India.

BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary has assured the “process is on” to keep the entire tourney in India.   -  AFP

When the eight franchises gathered here on Tuesday for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, they did not know where the tournament will be held next year.

With the Lok Sabha elections due for 2019, there were chances the tourney may be shifted to South Africa or the UAE.

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But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) honorary secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, has insisted that “process is on” to keep the entire tournament in India. Choudhary will be meeting “concerned people” in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss the possibilities of hosting the whole tournament in India.

‘Initiated the process’

“I had a word with some of the franchises, the challenge (of shifting the tournament) comes every five years when there’s an overlap between the IPL and the [elections]. This time, we are slightly more determined to [make sure] that we don’t export even a part of the IPL,” Choudhary said. “The franchises will also want that. We have initiated the process,” he added.

Though Choudhary did not reveal further details, it is believed the Board is trying to tweak the dates — advancing it a little for an early March start — and exploring smaller centres as venues.

Delhi Capitals' co-owner Parth Jindal: "[It is] not ideal to not know where we are playing. But it is [the] same for all eight teams." Photo: AFP

Earlier, some of the franchise owners admitted it was a tough task to pick players. “[It is] not ideal to not know where we are playing. But it is [the] same for all eight teams. We are handicapped [on that matter] but we have to build a balanced team, whether it is [held in] India, the Middle-East or South Africa,” Delhi Capitals’ co-owner, Parth Jindal, said.

‘Difficult task’

“But if it is held in South Africa, pace will play a bigger role than spin. So, you [have] got to keep everything [in mind] but maintain a balance. It is a difficult task,” Jindal said.

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Manoj Badale, Rajasthan Royals’ lead owner, agreed with Jindal. “Being in the IPL for the last 11 years, you are used to the uncertainties,” Badale said. “It is very difficult. If it is in South Africa or in the UAE, it is difficult. [But] we have looked at players keeping in mind that we [will] play mostly in India,” Badale said.

With the dates of elections not yet declared, the Board is likely to formally announce the date and the venue of the 2019 IPL later this month or by early January, next year.