‘Small possibility’ IPL could be finished in UK, says Rajasthan Royals owner

·2-min read
 (Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
(Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

Rajasthan Royals owner Manoj Badale believes there is only a “small possibility” that the Indian Premier League will be finished in the UK this year.

The T20 franchise tournament was postponed midway through its pool stage earlier this month after a number of positive Covid cases among players and staff, amid a huge second wave of the pandemic in India.

Last year’s IPL was pushed back from its usual April/May slot and played behind closed doors in the UAE between September and November.

However, India is due to host the T20 World Cup in October this year, leaving little room to reschedule the remainder of the competition in an already congested cricket calendar.

Sourav Ganguly, head of the BCCI, said earlier this week that COVID-19 restrictions meant it was impossible to stage the remaining games in India, where the number of infections have climbed above 24 million.

A number of English counties have offered to host the remainder of the IPL’s 31 matches in September, shortly after the Indian national team are due in the UK for a marquee five-match Test series.

However, Badale - whose franchise has strong ties to the UK, with the likes of Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes on their roster - believes finding space to finish the tournament will be difficult.

“There is a possibility, a small possibility, that in September there might be something in the UK or possibly something in the Middle East either side of the T20 World Cup but it’s going to be a real challenge,” Badale told reporters.

“In my opinion, the players are already playing too much cricket. The calendars are incredibly packed, particularly this year after COVID. Boards from around the world are trying to get as many competitions and as many test matches as possible.”

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