MUMBAI: In the increasingly unlikely event that the BCCI does manage to carve out a window for the remaining 31 games of the suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, it will have to be played outside the country, board president Sourav Ganguly has acknowledged.
The IPL was suspended indefinitely last week after several personnel tested positive for COVID-19. India reported 366,161 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, taking the caseload to 22.66 million.
To a direct question from Sportstar magazine if there was a possibility of holding the remainder of the tournament in England after the World Test Championship (WTC) final and before the England series (the WTC final is scheduled to get over on June 22 and the first Test starts on August 4), or after the series, Ganguly said: "No. India is supposed to go to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is. There are lots of organisational hazards like 14-day quarantine. It can’t happen in India. This quarantine is tough to handle. Too early to say how we can find a slot to complete the IPL."
It is to be noted that the entire 2020 tournament was played in the United Arab Emirates, and remains the odds on favourite to host the IPL remainder IF (and that's a big if), a window is made available. Meanhwile, even as a BCCI official told Reuters on Friday they were yet to discuss the matter of an alternate hosting venue for the IPL, Sri Lanka Cricket, Warwickshire, Surrey and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) have all expressed interest in hosting the remaining matches in September.
Virat Kohli's side are due to leave for England in early June for the World Test Championship final in Southampton against New Zealand. They will then play a five-Test series against England.
'SportzPower' View: BCCI should now shift focus to T20 WC