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“Hosting IPL 2020 in India will be our first priority,” says Ganguly

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly has stated they would like to host the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year and their first priority is to host the tournament within the country itself.

The cash-rich league was initially scheduled to be played from March 29 but due to coronavirus pandemic the tournament was postponed indefinitely by the BCCI.

Indian Premier League trophy
Photo: Indian Premier League trophy

Ganguly once again reiterated the board’s desire to host the IPL this year to bring back some sort of normalcy in the wake of COVID-19 crisis.

“We want to have it, as I said that cricket needs to be back,” Ganguly said on India Today’s show Inspiration.

“For us it’s off-season at the moment which has actually helped. We finished out domestic season in March and then we had to cancel the IPL, which is the most important part of our domestic season.

“We want IPL to happen because life needs to be back to normal and cricket needs to be back to normal but we don’t have a decision from the ICC regarding the T20 World Cup,” he added.

There have been reports of the IPL shifting out of India considering the virus threat that is raging on in the country presently. Ganguly, however, stated their first priority will be to host the tournament in India before looking out for venues on foreign shores.

IANS had earlier reported that the situation with regards to the coronavirus pandemic might force the board to ultimately take the tournament to either UAE or Sri Lanka.

“We keep hearing different things from the media but till actually its officially not told to the board members and the countries, you don’t know what is happening,” Ganguly said.

“But we want to host it, our first priority is India. Whatever time we get, even if we get 35-40 days we will host it.

“Places like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai — these are big teams in the IPL and at this stage I don’t think you can put your hand on heart and say that cricket will happen in these places.

“We were keen to go to Ahmedabad to see the new stadium but I don’t know if we will be able to go there or not. It’s not easy at the moment to say that we are going to host it in India,” the former India captain said.

The 48-year-old also raised his eyebrows over the prospect of hosting the tournament outside India and the financial and logistical implications that will tag along with it.

“Will it be in India? If it’s not then we think of going out, but where? Because going out becomes very expensive for the board, the franchises because of the currency conversion rates,” he said.

“So we are monitoring it and we are very keen to host it. We have our fingers crossed, we don’t want the year 2020 to finish without an IPL.”