The ninth edition of the IPL may just be a few months away, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are already thinking about the future of the cash-rich T20 event. IPL chairman, Rajeev Shukla, spoke about the possibility of an overseas IPL, and also favoured the UAE as the venue for.
The IPL, which has been a huge success ever since the competition took shape in 2008, gave birth to the Champions League T20, a tournament which had franchises from countries like India, Australia, England, and South Africa competing against each other.
However, the CLT20 was deemed a failure and the competition was brought down last year. But, the BCCI are already mulling over another competition, as the CLT20 slot is still available. A two-week IPL, in a knockout format is being considered.
"There are various suggestions before the BCCI and one is to have a 'B' Cities league with six teams. The slot for the Champions League is available. Another idea is to create a window for an IPL overseas. Some franchises have suggested an IPL overseas for two weeks or on a knockout basis. If we take a final decision on it, we may come back to play in the UAE," Gulf News quoted Shukla as saying.
The IPL was a huge hit when the 2014 edition of the lucrative event was held in the UAE, hence it is no surprise the BCCI are considering another IPL in the Middle East.
With the next Lok Sabha elections slated in 2019, UAE are likely to host the event again, much like they did last year.
"IPL was very successful in the UAE. Whenever the Indian parliament elections take place every five years, there will be a chance to host it here. The Indian government will not be able to provide enough police force and so we will have to take IPL outside India and UAE remains a favourite destination," added Shukla.
The IPL, though, has been caught in plenty of controversies, such as the 2013 spot-fixing scadal, which also led to the suspension of the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for the next two editions. The BCCI are keen to ensure the IPL becomes a controversy-free event.
"In order to curb any wrongdoing which can sink IPL into controversies, the BCCI president Shashank Manohar has spoken to the Maharashtra government and we are going to solicit the services of the Mumbai Police," Shukla revealed. "IPL is the only tournament which has got two anti-corruption agencies of the ICC as well as of the BCCI monitoring the event."