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ECB reportedly makes play to host IPL in England

The suspended IPL season could be restarted in England if ambitious plans from a group of counties are successful.

According to a report from the PA, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has made contact with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over continuing the indefinitely suspended tournament. 

The 2021 IPL season was put on ice this week amid India’s ongoing Covid-19 surge, with the country recording well over 300,000 new cases per day. 

There are 31 remaining fixtures in Twenty20 cricket’s most lucrative tournament, with stadiums like Lord’s and The Kia Oval being mooted as potential host venues for the matches.

The report said that the remaining matches could be wrapped up in a fortnight, with a 3pm UK start time being ideal for the Indian market. 

While the plans have been reported as being discussed, a spokesperson for the ECB told the news agency: “We speak to the BCCI regularly about tours and other matters and we’ll continue doing so, but we have received no indication that they are looking for alternative hosts for the IPL at the moment.”

Should the flagship tournament be moved, it would be the second time in as many years that the IPL has been relocated. The 2020 iteration was delayed and moved to the UAE for a ‘special edition’ staging in the Autumn.

Reports have also circulated that the UAE could host October’s Twenty20 World Cup, with India’s current Covid situation potentially lasting for months.