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IPL could be moved out of India if coronavirus pandemic persists
IPL 2020

IPL could be moved out of India if coronavirus pandemic persists

The Indian Premier League could see a different host country for the 13th edition of the tournament if the coronavirus crisis does not relent in the next two months, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told AFP.

"Let us first see, we will try to stage it in India and if the situation does not allow then we will certainly look at other options," Patel said.

"We will see how the situation is in the next month or two and then take a call accordingly," said Patel while hinting at the possibility of shifting the cash-rich league abroad.

The worsening COVID-19 caseload has pushed India into a health emergency as infections in the South Asian nation continue to spike. The majority of the cases are concentrated in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, which are cricket hubs.

Staging the IPL outside of India is not entirely an alien concept as the competition in some form has been held overseas on two occasions due to the event's dates clashing with the national elections.

South Africa hosted the second IPL in 2009 while the first half of the 2014 season was organised in the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE and Sri Lankan cricket boards have already offered the BCCI to conduct the IPL this year.

Patel also shed light on the BCCI's efforts at finding a suitable window ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia that is set to commence in October.

The ICC has deferred a final decision on the future of the global event due to pandemic concerns.

"We are looking at a September-October window for the IPL, but it depends on the other tournaments as well," said Patel.

"Nothing certain at the moment, but we are keeping our plans in place to make the IPL happen."

With a limited amount of time available for the BCCI, the 2020 IPL could be a curtailed affair as communicated by board president Sourav Ganguly earlier.

The IPL was supposed to begin on March 29 but was repeatedly postponed because of the extension of the nationwide lockdown in India.

The BCCI is mulling over contingency plans to salvage the world's most expensive T20 competition with the likelihood of the matches being played in empty stadiums.