South Africa could be the possible venue for the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) should the tournament coincide with the upcoming general elections in India.
India is all set to go for general elections in 2019 and the possibility of them clashing with IPL dates is great considering the last elections in 2014 had seen the tournament being partially shifted to the UAE.
The report adds that UAE remains the frontrunners to hosts the event should the tournament have to be only partially moved out of India. However, should the entire tournament be required to shift to an alternate venue, then South Africa could be the most viable option.
The two-man recce team is expected to spend 10 days in South Africa inspecting various venues and will make a stopover in Dubai on their way back to discuss the possibility of conducting IPL matches in the UAE with Emirates Cricket Board officials.
The final decision of the staging of the 2019 edition is expected to be announced once the dates of the general elections have been released.
The tournament has been previously held in South Africa in 2009 when general elections were called in India at the same time. In 2014, some of the matches in the tournament were played in the UAE owing to the general elections once again.
According to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the Proteas stalwart has transferred to Mumbai Indians in an all-money deal. The South African was brought by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2018 auctions at a price of $437,000 and as per reports, Mumbai have paid the same price to secure his services for the 2019 edition.
To offset the cost of De Kock’s purchase, Mumbai Indians have released Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman along with Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya.
The 25-year-old did not have the best of times with Bangalore in the last IPL where he scored 201 runs in eight matches at a strike-rate of 124.07. De Kock has previously played for the Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad and his overall IPL record stands at 927 runs from 34 innings.
The southpaw has managed to register one ton and six half-centuries in his stints so far in the IPL.
IPL franchises have been given a deadline of November 15 to retain and release their players ahead of the auction for next season which is set to take place in December this year.
There still remains uncertainty over the venue for the 2019 edition of the competition with India set to go for general elections next year. When general elections were held in 2014, the tournament was shifted to the UAE. The Gulf country will be in the running once again should the IPL opt for a different venue with South Africa also a possible option.
According to reports in India, the RCB management is likely to name retired South Africa international AB de Villiers as skipper following the failure of Kohli to win silverware. Kohli is the second-highest run scorer in IPL history (4948 runs) but under his captaincy since 2013, the team has made it to one final while also finishing last, second last and third last.
RCB have removed Daniel Vettori as coach and have brought in Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra in a new-look coaching structure. Fielding coach Trent Woodhill and bowling coach Andrew McDonald have also been sacked. Therefore, news of Kohli being sacked and the RCB making a fresh start gained credence.
However, the RCB management issued a denial to an Indian publication – India Today – stating: “We can clarify that the news is incorrect and Virat Kohli is very much the captain of RCB for the next season as well.”
At the international level as well, Kohli is enjoying a great time as a batsman but his captaincy has not been up to desired levels. Kohli’s Indian team has failed to cross the finish line in Tests and ODIs. India imploded in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, lost the Test series in South Africa earlier in the year and have now lost the Pataudi Trophy in England after looking more than capable of winning some or all of the them.