The 2019 edition of the world’s richest cricket league, the Indian Premier League, could take place outside of India for the third time, due to clashes with general elections in the country and the ICC Cricket World Cup.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has begun exploring the possibility of holding the T20 competition on foreign shores, India’s Economic Times is reporting. The tournament has already been brought forward, starting in March, to allow players more preparation time for the World Cup in England, which begins in May.
The new timeframe, however, means that the conclusion of the tournament will clash with India’s Lok Sabha elections. On the previous two occasions this occurred, the IPL was moved – to South Africa in 2009, and in part to the UAE in 2014 – for security reasons.
According to The Economic Times, the BCCI is once again looking at South Africa and the UAE as potential hosts, along with England – though the latter may be unavailable due to its preparations for the World Cup the following month.
Rahul Johri, the chief executive of the BCCI, has previously stated a preference for keeping the IPL in India, with the eight franchises and particularly the league’s broadcasters facing logistical challenges should an overseas venue be chosen. The decision will ultimately be taken on whether the government believes it can provide adequate security for the entire tournament while the elections are ongoing, however.