BCCI is reportedly planning to keep South Africa as an alternative venue in case the upcoming edition of the IPL has to be shifted from India to somewhere else because of the third COVID wave that has hit the country. According to the reports, BCCI will do everything possible to make sure the tournament takes place in India itself, but if there has to be a last-minute change in venue, it will be South Africa.
The last two editions of the IPL have been partly and fully organised in the UAE, and BCCI has to pay a huge sum of money to the Emirates Cricket Board on both occasions. While a sum of 100 crore INR was paid for IPL 2020 which was fully organised in the UAE, 50 crores was paid for the second half of IPL 2021 which had to be postponed and shifted midway from India to the UAE.
It is understood that organising the tournament in South Africa won’t cost BCCI as much as it has costed them to organise the event in UAE in the last two years. BCCI is also not very happy about the nature of some of the surfaces in UAE, particularly of Sharjah where the run-scoring was very difficult towards the end of the tournament last season and some of the important knockout games turned out to be low scoring ones.
South Africa has already organised IPL once before in 2009
South Africa will offer variety of conditions and it’s a country which has organised IPL before as well. When IPL had to be shifted outside India back in 2009 because of the general elections in the country, South Africa had organised the tournament with enormous success and people had enjoyed the games because of the variety in the conditions with bouncy pitches, flat pitches and slow pitches, all in play in the tournament.
BCCI, however, will think about organising IPL in South Africa only if they reach the conclusion that organising it in India will be very difficult and they will reach that conclusion only if the COVID cases in India increase exponentially in the next few weeks. For the time being, BCCI has reportedly shortlisted Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Pune as the three venues to organise IPL 2022.
The board will soon have a meeting with the representatives of the franchises to make a final decision on plan A and plan B and will proceed accordingly.