South Africa has reportedly thrown its hat into the ring ahead of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announcing the venue for the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) later next month, claiming that the country would be a cheaper option than the UAE, where the tournament’s second leg was held in 2021.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian cricket board informed its ten IPL franchises that the venue would be finalised around February 20, with India being the front-runner and the UAE and South Africa also viable options.
The Indian cricket team recently concluded a three-Test and three-ODI tour of South Africa without any bio-bubble breaches or Covid-related issues, with South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith thanking BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah, as well as the Indian team, for demonstrating ‘faith’ in Cricket South Africa (CSA) to organise the tour.
The BCCI and team owners favour Mumbai and Pune to host the IPL 2022.
According to cricbuzz.com, conversations are already underway between the Indian board and CSA “with special emphasis on sites for which there would be no or very minimal plane travel, cutting down on the franchisee’s expenditures”.
The CSA has also allegedly promised that hotel rates in South Africa will be “much lower than in the UAE”.
According to the article, the CSA has proposed hosting the matches at four locations in and around Johannesburg, with the team’s bio-secure environment in the capital city. The four grounds are floodlit and within driving distance of one another: Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, Centurion Park in Pretoria, Willow Moore Park in Benoni, and Senwes Cricket Stadium in Potchefstroom.
In addition, considering that the 15th edition of the IPL would be a 10-team event with 74 games as opposed to 60 last year, the CSA had requested that a portion of the tournament be played at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town and the neighbouring Paarl venue, according to the source.