The recent furore amongst teams over venues of IPL 2021 is likely to continue until the final decision is announced. However, the governing council is far from making a final decision. A BCCI official squashed speculation surrounding the situation and told ANI that Governing Council will soon meet to make a final decision.
The official from the Indian Cricket Board also insisted that they will be seeking assurances from state governments before making the final decision on venues. The state government of Punjab will be consulted regarding games in Mohali since elections in the Northern State clashes with IPL 2021.
Over the last weekend, reports emerged in Indian media that BCCI wants to stage the tournament across five cities, leaving out Mohali, Hyderabad, and Jaipur in this list. The three teams from these venues reportedly expressed objection over this plan, citing an unfair advantage to other teams playing in their home stadiums. On Tuesday, Mumbai was also reportedly ruled out of the equation due to the rise in coronavirus cases in the city.
IPL’s Governing Council is likely to meet this month to make a final decision before the start of the tournament in April. It will not be a big surprise if they narrow down the list of venues to make sure that competition does not lose the competitive edge and logistical nightmare is avoided by having teams travelling across the country. The Indian Super League followed a similar model as the entire 2020/21 campaign was held in Goa.
As of now, there has been no talk about moving the tournament outside the country. With fans returning for test matches against England at 50% capacity of stadiums, BCCI would like to implement similar plans for IPL. The primary focus for governing council will be to finalise venues in the coming weeks as teams will soon start training for the new campaign.