Brijesh Patel, the IPL chairman, says that their first priority is to try and keep the tournament in India this year. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Kolkata: The Indian cricket board is drawing up a blueprint to host the IPL 2022 in India in Mumbai and Pune behind closed doors, according to chairman of the league.

Confirming a news agency report about such a possibility, Brijesh Patel, the IPL chairman told Gulf News over phone: ‘‘The decision at the moment is to play the tournament in India with the UAE as the Plan B. We have zeroed in on Mumbai as it’s the only city with four venues in and around it in the Wankhede Stadium, Cricket Club of India (CCI), DY Patil Stadium and the Reliance ground. We can also include the new stadium in Pune as this time, there will be more matches with 10 teams in fray.’’


There will be 74 matches in all, instead of 60 in previous editions, and the BCCI are quite keen to keep the tournament in India - though the surge in Covid-19 cases along with it’s Omicron variant - has kept them on tenterhooks much like last year. Incidentally, the BCCI had drawn up similar contingency plans last year to stage all the matches in Mumbai and it’s vicinity after the league had to be suspended midway when the teams started reporting positive cases. The second half of IPL 2021 was eventually conducted in the UAE, followed by the T20 World Cup, in what was a windfall for the cricket fans of the Gulf country.

‘‘The existing plan will allow us to transport the players via road from their hotels and avoid air travel. The idea is to host the tournament here after two seasons but we are monitoring the situation and take a final call sometime in February. If the pandemic situation makes it untenable, we will then consider shifting to the UAE again,’’ said Patel, the 69-year-old former Test star who played an extremely hands-on role in a smooth conduct of the tournament in the UAE over the last two seasons.

Meanwhile, it was quite a happening day in the IPL front with them releasing a list of 1214 players after the cut-off day in registration on Friday (896 Indian and 318 overseas), who have signed up to be part of the mega players’ auction in Bengaluru on Febuary 12-13.The players’ list incorporates 270 capped, 903 uncapped, and 41 Associate players.

The detailed list is as follows: Capped Indian (61 players), Capped International (209 players), Associate (41 players), Uncapped Indians who were a part of previous IPL seasons (143 players), Uncapped International who were a part of previous IPL seasons (6 players), Uncapped Indians (692 players), and Uncapped Internationals (62 players).