The next season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) — or at least some matches of the T20 tournament — may be played outside India. Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, or both, could be the likely host, a top cricket board official said.
The reason is the same as in 2009, when the second season was played in South Africa: Lok Sabha elections. The election dates are not known yet, but the BCCI has begun to prepare for a possible overlap with the IPL, which is played in April and May.
“A clear picture will emerge only after the dates for the Lok Sabha elections are announced. Until then, we are considering whether to have a few games in India and then move abroad, or vice versa. Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are short journeys, so logistically, it won’t be much of a problem,” the BCCI official said.
The current Lok Sabha’s term ends in May 2014, and if the election is not brought forward, the IPL will coincide with campaigning and voting, and severely stretch security forces.
“The decision to move to South Africa in 2009 was taken at the last minute, and nobody had expected then that there would be an issue regarding security. But we now know that such a situation may arise again, and we are getting ready for it,” the official said.
IPL CEO Sundar Raman will come up with detailed plans in due course. The BCCI is considering splitting season 7 into two halves, one of which might travel outside India.
Unlike in 2009, the board will not this time knock on the doors of Cricket South Africa (CSA) — the reasons being
the recent tensions with their CEO Haroon Lorgat, and the expensive dollar, which would
make playing the tournament in South Africa significantly more expensive.