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Board of Cricket Control in India(BCCI) is all set to hold the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League from April to June window with all its might and glory. That said, the last two seasons of IPL have been affected heavily by the pandemic. IPL 2022 may go through the same.
IPL seasons in foreign countries over the years
Talks of holding IPL in an overseas country are not a new thing at all. In fact, BCCI regards this option in high esteem historically and has resorted to it happily when it has needed to. This can be seen by the fact that at least some part of the 4 of the 14 seasons of IPL has been held in other countries, in 2009, 2014, 2020, and 2021. The pattern has been simple; hurdles in the inauguration of the tournament in India pushing BCCI to hold it abroad.
While IPL 2009, held in South Africa, and a part of 2014’s edition held in UAE were due to ongoing elections in India at those times, the reason for moving much-recent seasons to IPL had been the Covid-19 situation in India.
Spectators have witnessed the Indian Premier League 2020 and much of the 2021 IPL being held on the grounds of the UAE. What was the reason? Covid-19. With the experts already predicting a third wave of Coronavirus in India owing to the global spread of Omicron, IPL 2022 being hosted by the cricket center doesn’t seem to be a far-off possibility.
BCCI can take a few lessons from the mistakes Cricket Australia made this BBL. Australia, a country having a population much lower than India, couldn’t prove up to be a haven for the league to be held, as seen by the reports of a new player contracting Covid-19 every other day.
This, consequently, led to numerous tweaks in the tournament’s schedules, players, and venues.
Given that India’s situation later on in the year is predicted to be much worse than this, the fraternity highly doubts BCCI would take such risky steps to ensure IPL 2022’s inauguration in India.
BCCI is known for its influence in the cricketing world, but it could do little when several international players decided to head back to their home countries midway in the league last year
owing to the aggravating situation of coronavirus in India at that time. BCCI cannot afford this to happen once again.
Two new teams have been added to the extravaganza this season: Ahmedabad and Lucknow. An exciting and financially prosperous deal for the BCCI, but with a set of its problems. More teams simply mean dozens of more players to handle; an endeavour which won’t be welcomed so warmly by the management given the strenuous bigger biosecure bubbles which need to be set up. If the IPL 2022 happens in the UAE – a country with a much lesser population and fewer covid-19 cases – this would be less problematic.
Flip Side of the Coin
While the Indian Premier League in the UAE comes across as an enticing idea, a plethora of problems is what it comes with:
Greater Expenses, Lower Return
Indian Premier League is a money-making cow for the BCCI; an investment that produces a major part of the BCCI’s earnings, be it in the form of revenue from selling tickets, team fees’ or broadcasting rights. The expenses of hosting a tournament in the UAE, as we know it, are much higher than hosting it in India. Holding the IPL in the UAE for the third consecutive time means not making as much money as they would make if the cash-rich league is held in India. No surprise that BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly, is keen to hold IPL 2022 in India.
Issues with the schedule
IPL 2022 is scheduled to be held from April to June, as already announced by the BCCI. April, May, and June are among the hottest months in the UAE. This fact alone can nullify the idea of playing in the UAE. BCCI can, however, hold it in the September-October window as it did for IPL 2020 and then the later part of IPL 2021. However, this would mean more problems as not only Asia Cup 2022 is scheduled to be held in September but most teams might refuse to send their players to the top-notched league owing to T20WC 2022 preparations.
Teams like England and New Zealand did send their players to the 2021 season even though the WC was near but a driving factor in that decision was the fact that T20WC 2021 was going to be held in the UAE itself. This time, however, it won’t be the case.
Keeping every factor in consideration, it is safe to say that BCCI would push to hold the Indian Premier League 2022 in India, but if the pandemic doesn’t allow it to do so, it would happily resort to the UAE as it did for 2020, 2021 seasons and the T20 World Cup 2021.