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Will it be England or SA? Meet likely to decide on IPL venue

cricket Updated: Mar 23, 2009 12:46 IST
Arjun Sen
Arjun Sen
Hindustan Times
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The BCCI is likely to meet today to finalise the venue abroad for the T20 IPL Season 2 Tournament. After weeks of lobbying to browbeat the government, the Indian Premier League took the logical option of moving its second season out of the country. South Africa and England emerged as the two frontrunners.

The Hindustan Times had reported on Sunday that the IPL had decided to shift base out of India.

The decision to move the T20 tournament was taken at an emergency meeting of the BCCI working committee in Mumbai on Sunday. The firming up of the new venue is expected on Monday, with South Africa and England emerging as the two frontrunners.

After categorically denying any contact with the IPL when contacted by HT on Saturday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola on Sunday admitted to having been approached by the BCCI. “We received an official approach to be one of several options they are considering to host the tournament outside India. At this stage we are looking forward to holding discussions with IPL officials,” Majola said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), too, welcomed the prospect of hosting the tournament. In a statement the ECB said it had a “very good relationship with the BCCI” and would be “delighted to help them again”. Sources say IPL officials are likely to fly out to England on Monday to discuss the deal.

The two possible alternatives are best suited on account of the time difference vis-à-vis India. IPL commissioner Lalit Modi on Sunday made it clear that all matches in the second season, irrespective of the venue, will start at 4pm and 8pm IST.

That rider suits both England, four and a half hours behind India, when the IPL starts, as well as South Africa, three and a half behind.

The decision to move out was pushed by Modi and the franchisee owners in the face of calls from IPL members to scrap the tournament and treat this as a ‘zero year’.