IPL 2019 could be held in South Africa
What's the story?
The Indian Premier League (IPL) could be heading for a new destination for its 12th edition next year. The T20 league is likely to be held in South Africa in 2019, with election dates in India expected to clash with the tournament dates next year.
In case you didn't know...
While the tournament is held in India every year, there have been instances in the past when the league had to be shifted out of the country for different reasons. In 2009, South Africa had edged out England as the hosts of the tournament, with the tournament dates clashing with the general elections in India.
In 2014, the tournament was shifted out yet again, this time to UAE for the first two weeks, the reason being the Lok Sabha elections in April-May, the exact months in which the league takes place.
The heart of the matter
While nothing has been decided as of yet, a report in The Times of India says that the BCCI is already discussing possibilities to move the tournament out of India next year, with extensive elections scheduled to take place across the country.
Cricket South Africa, already reeling under the effects of the postponement of their own brainchild, the Global T20 League, could use IPL as a means to showcase their hosting prowess, just like they did in 2009.
While there is still time for the BCCI to fix the schedule for next year, all eyes will shift to the IPL's 11th season, set to be held from April 4 to May 27 this year. Fresh auctions towards the end of January are adding to the interest in this season of the league.
IPL 2019 is set to pose a headache for the BCCI: firstly, the 2019 World Cup is already slotted to take place from May end to mid-July, and according to the Lodha recommendations, a 15-day window has to be maintained between the 50-over tournament and the IPL.
Also, South Africa, the replacement hosts, have their own elections in 2019, which could give another reason for the IPL to be moved ahead to a March-April scheduling.