BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has made it crystal clear that India is keen to host the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as it the most significant part of the nation’s domestic cricket season. Earlier, a BCCI official stated that IPL 2020 will take place outside the nation in all possibilities. UAE and Sri Lanka were the two places that he named. However, Ganguly hasn’t rubbished the chances of the tournament happening in India. Ganguly, who turns 48 on Wednesday, also said that life needs to get normal amid the COVID-19 break and cricket has to return. However, any decision on IPL will be taken after ICC takes a call on T20 World Cup which is scheduled to take place in October. Indian Premier League 13 Likely to Be Played in UAE or Sri Lanka, Says BCCI Official.

"We want to have it, as I said that cricket needs to be back. For us, it’s off-season at the moment which has actually helped. We finished our domestic season in March and then we had to cancel the IPL, which is the most important part of our domestic season. We want IPL to happen because life needs to be back to normal and cricket needs to be back to normal but we don’t have a decision from the ICC regarding the T20 World Cup," Sourav Ganguly said on India Today's InspirationBCCI to Begin Preparations for Indian Premier League 13, Board Unhappy With ICC’s Delay on T20 World Cup Call.

Only once in the previous 12 seasons, IPL took place outside India. In 2009, the tournament was hosted by South Africa as general elections in the nation were scheduled to take place at that time while the first half of IPL 2014 was played in UAE.

Despite expressing the desire to conduct IPL in India, Ganguly also highlighted the fact the many major cities are affected by virus and playing matches there is not safe.

“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. If it doesn’t happen in India because of Covid-19 because places like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai these are big teams in the IPL and at this stage, I don’t think you can put your hand on heart and say that cricket will happen in these places,” he added.

The 48-year-old also mentioned that costs will be increased for many things if IPL will be played outside.

"We were keen to go to Ahmedabad to see the new stadium but I don’t know if we will be able to go there or not. 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 concluded.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 08, 2020 02:02 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).