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USA and UAE mooted as BCCI confirms plans for ‘mini IPL’

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has today (Friday) confirmed that it will launch a smaller overseas version of its Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition later this year.

The BCCI made the announcement following the conclusion of its Working Committee meeting earlier today in Dharamsala. The first edition of the annual tournament will take place in September.

“In the month of September, the BCCI is willing to host a mini IPL or IPL overseas,” BCCI president Anurag Thakur said, according to the ESPNcricinfo website. “(It will be) a shorter format, not home and away matches but a lesser number of matches; in a two-week window we will be able to complete it.”

Such an event has been mooted for some time and it is expected that each existing IPL franchise will compete. An arrangement was reportedly close last year but the BCCI opted to postpone the idea following various internal issues and legal battles.

The BCCI has been searching for a new competition to occupy the September timeslot after bringing to an end the struggling T20 Champions League tournament in 2014. The BCCI had run that tournament alongside its counterpart governing bodies in Australia and South Africa before it was dropped.

The BCCI must also organise the new event around its Duleep Trophy domestic competition, which is scheduled to take place in September.

“It is a tight schedule,” Thakur (pictured) added. “It is in a less than two-week window we have to organise (the tournament). And we have to look into various details: which country we can play in, how many teams, how many players should participate, who will be the broadcaster – all these issues need to deliberated, but we are keen to play in that window.”

Exact dates and venues for the new competition will be confirmed at a later date. The United States and United Arab Emirates have reportedly been discussed as potential venues for the new competition.

Thakur said: “There are many options, many countries (could) host the IPL. So there will be a process to look at the various time zones available, various markets available, which could be the best partner country, whether every year it should be hosted in that country or the countries can be changed.”