Four major English counties — Middlesex, Surrey, Warwickshire and Lancashire — have expressed interest in hosting the remaining 31 games of the Indian Premier League, with the coronavirus bio-bubble being postponed due to infection of four Indian players.
As India anticipates a third wave of the pandemic year later, the BCCI is exploring a window in September after India’s tour of England to complete the tournament.
The India-England tour ends on September 14.
According to ESPN Cricinfo, Lords, Oval (both London), Edgbaston (Birmingham) and Emirates Old Trafford (Manchester) are part of a team that has written to the ECB expressing their interest.
“The tournament is scheduled to be completed in almost two weeks in the second half of September,” the report said.
The BCCI is ideally looking for a 20-day window with multiple double headers to complete the tournament.
At the ICC Chief Executives meeting scheduled for later on Thursday, BCCI and ECB representatives are expected to discuss the matter.
One logic that favors the tournament is that it provides a good opportunity for all players to prepare for the World T20, which is likely to move from India to the UAE.
And if both the IPL and the World T20 are played in the UAE, the pitches may change slowly in the second half of the global tournament, so England are the best choice to host the league.
However, there are some issues that need to be addressed. At the end of India’s tour of England on September 14, there will be 30 Indian cricketers there, but tossing others is a daunting task in view of the rules of restraint.
If the tournament does not take place this year, BCCI will lose revenue of Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 crore.