England, along with South Africa, has emerged as the frontrunner to host the second season of the Indian Premier League.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will, however, need to take into account the coinciding County Championship, which begins in April, before accepting the offer from the IPL and the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
The county season kicks off with a traditional three-day MCC vs County Champions match on April 9 at Lords. It's only in the first week of the county championship (April 11 to 18) that the IPL could host matches here, for most of the county teams play warm-up matches against university teams.
Thereafter, it's serious business with county championship matches (both divisions) and Friends' Provident Trophy (one-dayers) played across all county grounds and Test venues in England. This goes on till the end of April, leaving the IPL with little chance to hold matches in that duration.
Then, the West Indies are also scheduled to arrive in England around April 20 for a two Test and three one day international series. The visitors will play a string of warm-up matches against county sides and England Lions ahead of the Test series, which begins on May 6.
The series winds up on May 28 at Edgbaston just three days ahead of the warm-up games for the T20 World Cup start. “We have a packed schedule. We have our domestic schedule, the T20 World Cup, the Ashes. So I think, it will be difficult to accommodate the IPL at the Oval,” said a spokesperson of Surrey County Cricket Club, giving indication of things to come.