The Indian Premier League (IPL) might be shifted to an overseas location next year, according to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur. The IPL has been hit by a spate of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the recent past while the drought controversy has thrown the league's itinerary into disarray.
"The IPL governing council will be looking at venues in India and abroad. We have to check the availability of venues and prevailing conditions," said Thakur at a press conference as quoted by NDTV.com.
Already 12 matches have been shifted out of the drought-hit state of Maharashtra in India following an order by the Bombay High Court after a PIL said 60,000 litres of water was being used per day to maintain the ground and pitch at the three stadiums in Maharashtra which is a waste especially when the state is struggling under an acute water shortage.
This has led to two Maharashtra-based franchises — Rising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians — picking new home grounds. Pune choose Visakhapatnam while Mumbai opted for Jaipur. This decision too sparked controversy with the Rajasthan High Court asking why the matches should be played in the state of Rajasthan where the water situation is worse than other places.
In what was a hint on the future of IPL in India, BCCI treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary tweeted: "Very soon IPL may be played outside the country if this goes on. Loss to the GDP would not be insignificant."
The IPL is not new to foreign shores. It was played twice outside India during state election years. In 2009, the league was moved for the entire duration to South Africa while it was shifted to the United Arab Emirates in 2014 for a two-week stint.