The Sri Lanka cricket board has reportedly written to BCCI showing their willingness to host the season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which has postponed indefinitely due to the extension of the coronavirus lockdown.
Shammi Silva, the president of Sri Lanka’s cricket board, said the country could be a venue. “Apparently it will cost the BCCI and its stakeholders more than $500 million to cancel the IPL,” he told local media.
“If they play it in Sri Lanka, it’s easy for Indian audiences to watch the games on TV. There’s precedent for this because they’ve played the IPL in South Africa before. We’re waiting for the Indian board to respond to our proposal.”
On the other hand, Simon Katich, the head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said his team would be happy if the IPL season is shifted to countries like Australia and South Africa.
“If the Indian board does agree to play the tournament here, we’re ready to provide facilities in line with the requirements and recommendations of medical professionals,” Silva said. “It would be a substantial source of income for Sri Lankan cricket as well.”
In the past, the IPL has been held overseas twice due to general elections in India. The entire 2009 season was held in South Africa, while the first half of the 2014 IPL was played in the UAE.
This year’s IPL was originally set to start on March 29. It was then postponed to April 15. The Indian government’s extension of Covid-19 movement restrictions in the country to at least May 3 resulted in the latest suspension.
A BCCI statement said: “IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so…BCCI will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding a potential start date.