The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have welcomed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s decision to host the league entirely in India.
After a meeting with the government officials on Tuesday, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) decided to go-ahead with the tournament at home from March 23, squashing speculations of it being shifted to the UAE or South Africa.
And, most of the franchise bosses, Sportstar spoke to, expressed their happiness. “We are delighted that the IPL is being held in India. It is the home of IPL,” Rajasthan Royals executive chairman, Ranjit Barthakur said.
While the final fixture list could only be available after the dates of general elections are announced, the franchises are happy that at least there is a clarity on the venue.
“The biggest thing is that it’s early January and we at least know where the tournament will be held. That leaves us with sufficient time to plan properly and get things in place,” Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW Sports — which runs Delhi Capitals — said.
After changing its name from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals, the franchise will play its first IPL this time and the CEO admits that playing in India will help in branding.
“We wanted the league to happen in India, so this is a huge positive. Us being a new team, we would love to take a lot of initiative, and having an opportunity to do that in India was very important,” Ghouse said.
While there is no official word on the scheduling yet, some of the BCCI officials have indicated that there is a possibility that some of the smaller centres could also host a few matches.
“We are keeping each and every factor in mind. We need to have a clarity on the dates of the general elections and once we know that, we can schedule it accordingly,” a top BCCI official said.
Though the franchises are clueless about the venues, they hope things will fall in place.
Defending champion, Chennai Super Kings, is excited because with the tournament happening in India, Chennai will, most likely, host the opening fixture.
“We are happy that the IPL will be hosted in India. We are always very keen on playing in India and being the winner, we have a chance of having the opening game in Chennai. So, it will be a good thing,” Chennai Super Kings CEO Kashi Viswanath said.
Last year, Chennai’s home matches had to be shifted to Pune after protests over Cauvery water-sharing. But this time, the franchise hopes to play its home games at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
“It was not our wish to go out (of Chennai). We will try our best to play our games in Chennai this year,” the CEO said.
Even though the franchises are happy that the league will be held in India, some of them are a bit concerned about the logistical issues.
“If the schedule is very tight and if the travelling increases then the franchises could find it tough,” one of the franchise officials said.
With the BCCI officials slated to meet the franchise owners in the next few days, they hope to express their concerns to the Board and the CoA members.
Article source: https://sportstar.thehindu.com/cricket/ipl/ipl-owners-welcome-bccis-decision-to-host-league-in-india/article25941918.ece