With every passing hour, developments around the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League are being tracked. All the confusion around the starting date and the venues seems to have been sorted if the recent reports are to be believed.
The latest media report claims that the 2022 edition of the tournament looks all set to kick-start from March 27. It also claims that the franchise owners have suggested Mumbai and Pune as the venues for the conduct of the entire competition. In addition, it is being learned that UAE is not totally out of the equation and is being considered as one of the potential venues along with South Africa, with a close eye on the COVID-19 situation in India.
While the competition generally happens in the months of April and May, with two more teams coming in as well as the organisers planning a reduction in the number of day matches, the tournament is expected to commence a week earlier than expected. This will allow the accommodation of the extra matches that will be played this year.
Prior to the actual cricketing action, the mega-auctions are set to take place in Bengaluru in the second week of February. For now, the existing sides have made their retention picks while the new teams- Lucknow and Ahmedabad- have already selected three draft players to get a level-playing field in the auction. Ahmedabad have picked Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khand and Shubman Gill as their first three players with Hardik being named the skipper. Lucknow, on the other hand, have named KL Rahul as the skipper of the franchise and have additionally included Marcus Stoinis and Ravi Bishnoi.
Meanwhile, BCCI would be extremely careful of the decision they take since last year IPL 2021 had to be pushed out of India after COVID had started impacting the players inside the bio-secure bubble. They would not want a repeat of that and are hence perhaps further mulling playing the tournament in just two neighbouring cities which have enough stadiums to not burden the pitches.
An official confirmation is still awaited and is expected in the coming weeks.
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