New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has explicitly denied the recent reports suggesting that the island nation has come up with a proposal to host the now-postponed Indian Premier League (IPL). The T20 extravaganza, originally scheduled to commence from March 29, has been postponed for an indefinite period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, a report gained traction where a senior BCCI official, on request of anonymity, has claimed that New Zealand became the third country after Sri Lanka and UAE willing to host the cash-rich tournament if it can’t be staged in India.
However, NZC spokesperson Richard Boock called it nothing more than a mere “speculation.”
“The report is simply speculation. We have not offered to host the IPL nor have we had an approach to do so,” said NZC spokesperson Boock on Radio New Zealand.
Also, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, in a recent interview, reckoned that the priority has always been India.
“We keep hearing different things from the media but till actually its officially not told to the board members and the countries, you don’t know what is happening. But we want to host it, our first priority is India. Whatever time we get, even if we get 35-40 days we will host it,” remarked the former Indian skipper.
Considering the worsening situation of coronavirus cases in India, the chances of conducting the tournament in the home nation looks like a far-fetched dream.
However, staging the tournament away adds a little extra burden to the pockets of both BCCI and franchise.
“It’s not easy at the moment to say that we are going to host it in India. First is whether we can (play the IPL) within the time frame because IPL has limited windows. Secondly, will it be in India. If it’s not then we think of going out, but where. Because going out becomes very expensive for the board, the franchises because of the currency conversion rates. So we are monitoring it and we are very keen to host it. We have our fingers crossed, we don’t want the year 2020 to finish without an IPL,” Ganguly said on India Today’s show Inspiration.
In the past, South Africa hosted the 2009 edition of IPL as India was going through a general election. Further, the 2014 edition of the tournament was held in UAE due to the same reason.