Even as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to finalise the venue for the upcoming 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Cricket South Africa (CSA) has reportedly shown interest in staging the upcoming season of the cash-rich league if it has to be shifted from India due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
As per reports, the CSA has said that South Africa would be a cheaper option for staging the showpiece event as compared to the UAE where the second leg of the league was held in 2021.
A report in cricbuzz.com has said that discussions are on between the BCCI and CSA “with particular emphasis on venues for which there would be no or bare minimum air travel, cutting down on the expenses for the franchises”.
CSA has also reportedly assured that the hotel tariffs in South Africa would be “significantly cheaper than in UAE”.
As per the report, CSA has given the proposal to host the matches in four centres in and around Johannesburg, with the teams’ bio-secure environment in the capital city. The four venues — Wanderers Stadium (Johannesburg), Centurion Park (Pretoria), Willowmoore Park (Benoni) and Senwes Cricket Stadium (Potchefstroom) — are floodlit and within driving distance from one another.
Also, the report suggested that as the upcoming edition will be a 10-team affair, the CSA had also proposed a part of the league could be played at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town and nearby Paarl ground.
Earlier, the BCCI had said that the venue for IPL 2022 will be finalised around February 20, with India being the front-runner and the UAE and South Africa also viable options due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, Team India had completed its three-Test and three-ODI engagement in South Africa without any bio-bubble breach or COVID-related issues following which South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith had thanked BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah and the Indian team for showing ‘faith’ in CSAt o organise the tour of the country.
South Africa had hosted the IPL in 2009 across eight venues, but then there were no COVID-19 concerns.
Earlier on January BCCI secretary had announced that the 2022 season of IPL will begin in the last week of March and will conclude in May.
After a meeting with the owners of the franchises of the league, Shah in an official statement said: “I am delighted to confirm that the 15th season of the IPL will start in the last week of March and will run until May end. A majority of the team owners expressed their wish that the tournament be held in India. The BCCI was always keen on staging the 2022 edition that will see two new teams – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – in India,”
“I can tell you that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that IPL stays in India. The BCCI has not compromised on the health and safety of its stakeholders in the past and will concurrently work on Plan B since the COVID-19 situation with new variants remains fluid. The mega IPL Auction will take place on February 12-13th and we will lock in venues before that,” he added.
The BCCI secretary however, didn’t announced the venue of the mega auctions however, several reports suggest that the two-day affair is most likely to be staged in Bengaluru.
Earlier following the end of the registration for the 2022 player auction on January 20, 1,214 players had registered for the two-day event..
Of the 1,214 players, 896 are Indians while the remaining 318 are overseas, who have signed up for the auction.
The upcoming IPL 2022 mega auction will see the newly inducted franchises — Ahmedabad and Lucknow — entering the bandwagon.