New Zealand denies offering to host IPL 2020, calls reports as "speculation"
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jul 09, 2020, 03:45 pm
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has denied reports claiming that it has suggested to host the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 2020 edition. Calling the reports as "speculations", NZC spokesperson Richard Boock said no offer has been put forward by the cricket board to host the IPL, which has remained suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic after it was initially planned to begin on March 29. Mr Boock was quoted as saying, "The report is simply speculation. We have not offered to host the IPL nor have we had an approach to do so,".
NZC spokesperson's statement comes after a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official earlier this week said New Zealand has joined along with Sri Lanka and UAE in offering to host this year's edition of the IPL, in case the grand gala sporting event is decided to be shifted outside of India due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday said that a final call on the thirteenth edition of IPL will be made only after the ICC makes a move regarding the T20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in Australia-November. Ganguly said, "We don’t want the year 2020 to finish without an IPL. Our first priority is India and even if we get 35 to 40 days, we will host it. But we don’t know where…,".
It is to be noted that the league has been shifted outside of India only once before, in 2009 when there were general elections in the country. The 2009 edition was hosted by South Africa. It is being reported that organizing the IPL overseas could lead to an increase in the costs for the BCCI.
Regarding the plan for IPL being conducted in the country's big cities with IPL franchises, the former Indian skipper said, "If it doesn’t happen in India because of COVID, then places like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, these have big teams in IPL but at this point, you can’t put hand to your heart and say cricket will happen in these places." He, however, reiterated that he is hopeful for cricket to resume soon once again and said, "See I want to have it as I said that cricket needs to be back. For us this is actually off season which has actually helped. We finished our season in March just after which IPL was about to start."