The new season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will see a lot of changes with two new franchises being added to even all teams going with almost all new players. However, the 2022 edition could face a major roadblock in the form of Omicron – the new COVID-19 variant.
The inital plan is to have the mega auction in January and then to host the tournament in India itself. However, the same plan was implimented in 2021 which saw the league begin in India, but due to COVID-19 cases with the camps, it was halted and then shifted to the UAE.
To discuss the same, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to hold a meeting with the team owners sometime next month to discuss alternate plans for conducting the 2022 season.
India is witnessing a rapid increase in the number of Omicron cases and the board is concerned about the issues that could take place in April-May when the IPL 2022 is scheduled.
According to a report by Cricbuzz, the BCCI is likely to discuss all the scenarios with the franchise owners, however, the option of going back to UAE, apparently, is off the drawing board.
The original plan sees the league kicking off on April 2 in Chennai, and even holding the games normally on a home-and-away basis – that is if there is no deterioration in the COVID-19 situation in the country. However, if the situation doesn’t allow it, then the alternative plans will be activated.
The organisers are shortlisting Mumbai and Pune or in the Gujarat cities of Ahmedabad, Baroda and Rajkot to hold the whole tournament if the COVID-19 Omicron situation worsens. The 2022 season of IPL will be a ten-team affair after the addition of Lucknow and Ahmedabad, who are making their debut in the lucrative league.
(inputs from IANS)