Although there isn’t any clarity yet about where the next edition of the IPL will be held as General elections in India are scheduled at the same time, franchise owners aren’t getting too flustered about the situation. Speculation is rife that South Africa is the likely choice but with little clarity emerging from the BCCI, the owners are going ahead with their plans for the player auction scheduled for December 18th in Jaipur.
“We have had no clarity about the venue of the IPL from the BCCI as yet,” Kings XI Punjab co-owner Mohit Burman told CricketNext. “I guess they will inform us when they themselves find out. We were in this situation the last time (2009) also when the IPL was hosted in South Africa, that time we were informed one week before.
“It doesn’t affect our auction strategy too much. We will prepare assuming that the IPL is taking place in India and so will the other franchises. The situation is the same for all of them. General Elections of the country are not in anyone’s control, we’ll deal with any situation in front of us.”
Newly-rechristened Delhi Capitals co-owner Parth Jindal concurred also with Burman.
“No one knows where IPL-12 will be held yet,” he said. “What we can control is players we choose to buy during the auctions in Jaipur. So, we are going to focus on that.”
Not only will the scheduling depend on the elections, but with the World Cup starting on May 30th, the tournament will have to be advanced from its usual start in April and is likely to get underway in the middle of March. The Lodha reforms have also mandated a minimum gap of 15 days gap between the end of the IPL and the start of India’s next international assignment and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) will be required to implement this requirement. As a result, IPL-12 will have to wrap up by May 15, 2019.
“We can’t take any decision about the venue of the IPL before the dates for the general elections are announced,” a senior BCCI official told CricketNext. “The franchises have been apprised of the situation and they have clarity on the situation. We have a couple of options, firstly host the entire tournament out of India or the other option is to move the second half of the tournament in some place like South Africa. We have already done recce of South Africa and have kept Cricket South Africa informed.
“The final call about the venue will be taken by the CoA because currently IPL governing council is non-functional. CoA and more specifically chairman Vinod Rai will take the call.”
Official broadcasters Star India had shelled out over Rs 16,000 crore for IPL rights last year and a move out of India will severely hit their revenue stream. It is believed that the broadcasters are hoping that in the best case scenario, only part of the IPL will be shifted out of India.
South Africa have the maximum number of entries — 59 — out of the 232 foreign players in the auction this year. Seven international players — Corey Anderson, Sam Curran, Colin Ingram, Shaun Marsh, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews and Brendon McCullum — have the maximum base price of Rs 2 crore. But it has to be remembered that Curran and Marsh are from England and Australia respectively, who will only be part of the IPL till May 1 as they will be required to return home to join the preparatory camp for the World Cup.
“All teams will be wary of picking English and Australian cricketers,” Burman said. “No team wants to pick players who will not be available for the business end of the tournament.”