The entire 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held in India, the BCCI said on Tuesday after speculation that a portion of the tournament could be held outside the country due to a clash with general elections.
The IPL is scheduled to be held from March 23 and expected to last close to two months. The general elections are likely to be held around April-May.
The BCCI said a decision had been reached to hold the tournament in the country and added the dates will be announced later.
“Based on preliminary discussions with the appropriate central and state authorities, it was decided that the 12th edition of the world’s most popular and competitive T20 tournament will be played in India,” BCCI said in a statement.
In 2014, the UAE hosted the first two weeks of the IPL as it clashed with the general elections. The entire 2009 edition took place in South Africa, again to avoid a similar situation.
In those instances, the central and state governments had expressed their inability to provide adequate security for matches. However, this time it is believed the IPL matches will be held at venues where elections are not being held. Since the Indian elections are held in phases across various states, it is suggested the IPL will simply move from one location to the other depending on the election schedule.
The IPL is scheduled to start at the end of March and finish around middle of May. That leaves South African players about two weeks to recover ahead of their World Cup opener against England on May 30.
“The obvious one for me is the IPL,” du Plessis said. “The IPL is just before the World Cup, and the last thing you want is one of your bowlers getting injured just before the tournament. That’s a concern for us, seeing how we can play that scenario out best.
“With Dale [Steyn], or KG [Rabada] or any other bowlers, in terms of workload, the World Cup is still quite a while away. Probably you’ll see that closer to the World Cup we’ll think about stuff like managing workloads.”
Pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada is set to play for Delhi Capitals in the IPL. Ahead of the second Test against Pakistan in Cape Town, Rabada admitted he has “been feeling a bit tired the past three months”.
The 37-year-old could only muster a paltry 65 runs in six innings with the Punjab franchise in the 2018 edition and was subsequently released from his contract. The left-hander narrowly avoided going unsold in the recent IPL player auction at Jaipur before being purchased by Mumbai in an accelerated round later.
Yuvraj had entered the auction with an initial reserve price of approximately USD 214,000 and was ultimately sold at a reduced price of around USD 143,000.
Despite not being picked by any of the eight franchise in the first round of bidding, Yuvraj has revealed that he was confident of finding a suitor for his services.
“There was no disappointment as such. The reason is obvious. When you are putting together an IPL team, you will be looking at the youngsters. I am at the stage of my career where it could be presumed that I may be in the last stages. I had hoped that there would be buyers for me in the last round,” the 2011 World Cup winner told Mumbai Mirror.
At Mumbai, Yuvraj will be reunited with his former India team-mates Sachin Tendulkar (mentor), Zaheer Khan (director of operations) and Rohit Sharma (skipper). He believes that being around familiar faces could help his regain his best form.
“It will also be a familiar environment for me because Zak (Zaheer Khan), Sachin and Rohit are there. I have played a lot of cricket with them. I’m looking forward to playing with them again. When you have support, it motivates you to do well, it brings out the best in you,” he stated.
“Agreed, that the last season was not great. But the point was I played at different positions in four-five games. I was not given one position to bat. This year I am very keen to make the best of the opportunities that come my way,” Yuvraj continued.
Yuvraj will be joined at Mumbai by off-spinner Jayant Yadav who joined the franchise on Friday after a trade with Delhi Capitals (formerly Delhi Daredevils).