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IPL to remain in India

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has today (Tuesday) announced that this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will remain in the country following recent speculation that the annual Twenty20 competition would be forced overseas.

The 2009 IPL was held in full in South Africa, with the 2014 edition hosted in part by the United Arab Emirates, owing to clashes with the country’s general elections. Concerns over the provision of the necessary security infrastructure were behind these moves and there were fears it may have to be repeated with India due to host a new general election between April and May.

However, the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) for the BCCI today said that following discussions with central and state agencies and authorities, the 12th edition of the lucrative tournament will be scheduled to be played in India.

It is proposed that the 2019 IPL will commence on March 23, with a detailed schedule to be drawn up. “We will have all the primary venues backed up by alternate venues in case there is a need to shift matches,” CoA chairman Vinod Rai said, according to the Times of India newspaper.

“This will be done in consultation with central and state government authorities as well as security agencies. The specific reason for having a back-up venue is to ensure that we don’t have any issue if there is polling or recounting or PM’s rally in any of the states once the election dates are announced.”

Rai said specific venues and match dates will be decided after due consultation with government agencies. “Once we chalk out the itinerary, we will get the dates and venues cleared by various government agencies,” he added.

With the IPL typically running from the first week of April through to the end of May, the March 23 opening also represents an earlier start for the tournament. This is to ensure the IPL finishes in plenty of time before the 2019 World Cup commences in England and Wales on May 30.