The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that it is considering the possibility to host the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in more than one city. The board has still not decided upon the number of cities yet, but they have taken four-five options into consideration.
“We are exploring the possibility of conducting the IPL at more venues than originally planned. The intent is to take it to more fans as the situation is moving towards normalcy. The feasibility of the bio-secure bubble and logistics will of course be crucial to determine the venues finally. It is a fluid situation and the health of the participants is our primary concern,” a BCCI source in the know of the discussions told ANI.
Earlier, the board was planning to organize the entire tournament in a single city. However, given the unpredictable and frequently changing situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board is now reckoning the idea to host the league in multiple cities.
“See, there is still some time left for the league to get underway, but we are more than keen to play the league across a few cities. The worry with hosting it in one city is that the COVID-19 situation is constantly changing. So, if by chance one of the cities picked sees a situation where it gets difficult to host the games, another city can go ahead and logistically it will be easier for the board and the franchises.”
Although the IPL governing authority and the BCCI are inclined to bring the game to as many fans as possible, it is in no intention of compromising on the safety of players. The source made it clear that all the COVID-19 security protocols would be followed during the tournament.
“With multiple cities, obviously there will be individual bubbles. While we want fans from different cities to enjoy the games, the safety of the players and those involved in the league will be a priority,” the BCCI official said.