Mumbai: New Zealand joins race with Sri Lanka and UAE as they have offered BCCI to host the annual IPL in case the annual league isn’t held in India due to the rising coronavirus cases in the country.
India now has the third-highest cases of coronavirus infections in the world after Brazil and the USA.
New Zealand is the third country after UAE and Sri Lanka to have placed the offer to host the cash-rich tournament.
A senior BCCI official told PTI that, “Staging the event in India has to be the first choice but in case it is not safe to have it, then we will look at the overseas options. After UAE and Sri Lanka, New Zealand has also offered to host the IPL.”
“We will sit down with all stakeholders (broadcaster, teams, etc) and take a call. The safety of the players is paramount. There will be no compromise on that,” he added.
Of the three options, the UAE seems to be at the forefront but Sri Lanka cannot be ruled out as it may prove to be cost-effective.
The time zone is the biggest issue with New Zealand because India has seven and a half hours difference with the country. If the games are staged in the late evening, it will still be in India at 12:30 pm, meaning that office goers, who can also work from home, will miss the action.
Meanwhile, the much-awaited meeting of the IPL Governing Council is expected to be announced soon in which time schedules and issues related to Chinese sponsors can be discussed.