Inside Story

Australia, England in contention to host IPL 2021 Phase-2

Written by Sumit Seth

The suspension of the 14th edition of the league has the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) staring at huge losses. Although the board plans to organise the league sometime this year, the logistics are indeed difficult considering the pandemic. The option to host the Phase-2 of IPL Season 14 outside India, hence, is being considered as the most favorable. In this scenario, Australia and England are being considered as potential options alongside UAE.

“It has to be played overseas. Certain suggestions have already been heard. The BCCI just has to make up its mind,” top sources in the board were quoted as saying.

India are also to host the T20 World Cup this year in October-November. Though the ICC is set to wait till July to make a final call on whether the showpiece event can be held in India or not, there are sound chances of the tournament being shifted.

UAE remains the backup option for the BCCI when it comes to hosting the T20 World Cup. If the event is indeed shifted, organizing the second-half of the IPL in UAE too would be an understandable choice.

“If the World Cup is shifted, the whole scheduling will get re-worked anyway,” said those in the know before adding: “weather will be a problem because September remains a very hot month and UAE only begins to cool down October onward.”

The only problem in the UAE plan is the weather which will be quite hot in September. Hence, the option of having the remaining 31 matches in Engalnd has also been floated. The weather will also be conducive and with the Indian team also set to travel to England for a Test series, the venue does have logistical benefits.

“The weather will be good for cricket. It will suit the broadcaster too because time zones can be adjusted and overseas players from outside of India and England will be willing to travel,” the sources added.

England isn’t the only potential candidate, with Australia also being mulled. The BCCI could swap the T20 World Cup’s hosting rights with Cricket Australia, which is set to host the showpiece event next year. If that happens, Australia could also become a viable option to organise the second phase of the IPL as it would help the Indian players get the much-needed understanding of the venues.

“Cricket Australia certainly won’t mind this exchange if their government allows. And since international players will anyway arrive there for the World Cup, Perth – which is three-and-half-hours ahead of Indian Standard Time – can host Phase-2 to cater to Indian prime-time,” sources said.

“This can happen only if the Australian government changes its mind and if broadcasters are willing to agree,” source added.

About the author

Sumit Seth