LONDON: Four premier English counties — Middlesex, Surrey, Warwickshire and Lancashire — have expressed interest in hosting the remaining 31 games of the Indian Premier League, which was postponed after coronavirus breached the bio-bubble to infect four Indian cricketers.
With India anticipating a third wave of the pandemic later during the year, BCCI is exploring a window in September after the conclusion of India’s England tour to complete the tournament. India’s tour of England ends on September 14.
According to ESPN Cricinfo, Lord’s, Oval (both London), Edgbaston (Birmingham) and Emirates Old Trafford (Manchester) are understood to be part of the group who wrote to the ECB expressing their interest. “The plans would see the tournament completed in around two weeks in the second half of September,” according to the report.
BCCI is ideally looking at a 20-day window with multiple double headers in order to complete the tournament.
It is expected that at the ICC Chief Executives Meeting scheduled later on Thursday, the representatives of the BCCI and the ECB may discuss the matter. A logic that goes in the favour of the tournament is that it provides a good opportunity to all the players to prepare for the World T20 which in all likelihood will be moved to the UAE from India.
And if both IPL and World T20 are played in the UAE, the pitches might get slow during second half of the global tournament, so England would be a better option to host the League.
However, there are some issues that need to addressed. When India’s tour of England ends on September 14, at that time at 30 Indian cricketers will be there but flying others would be an onerous task, keeping in mind the quarantine rules. The BCCI stands to lose revenues to the tune of Rs 2000 to 2500 crore in case the tournament is not held this year.