Sourav Ganguly said he hopes IPL will be in India again next year in front of the noisy crowd.© Reuters
President of the Indian Cricket Board Sourav Ganguly expects the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be played in the country next year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to stage the second half of this year’s tournament in the United Arab Emirates. The eighth tournament with an estimated trademark value of USD 6.8 billion was stopped near its halfway point in May after two franchises reported cases of coronavirus. The second half was subsequently moved to the UAE, with Chennai Super Kings led by former India captain MS Dhoni to win their fourth IPL title by beating Kolkata Knight Riders in Friday’s final in Dubai.
The league will add two more franchises in its next issue, and Ganguly was optimistic about hosting it in India in front of the noisy crowd.
“I hope so, because this is India’s tournament,” Ganguly said in an online interview on Saturday.
“As much as you see the wonderful atmosphere in Dubai, it’s different in India. It’s absolutely insane in India with the stands full. We would love to have it in India again.”
“I am sure the COVID-19 situation will be very different in the next seven to eight months, and we can present it in India with full stands and the fans pouring in.”
The former captain of India spoke after a T20 World Cup campaign for fantasy sports platforms ‘My11Circle’, of which he is the brand ambassador.
Judging by the second half of the IPL, many believe that the World Cup, hosted by the UAE and Oman, will be a low-stakes tournament. But Ganguly begged to differ.
“I do not think so. Maybe it will be in Sharjah because of the wickets. But Dubai is an absolute obstacle,” Ganguly said.
“Abu Dhabi will be an excellent surface to bat on, and it’s going to be a great World Cup.”
The BCCI remains the host council of the World Cup, which also had to be relocated due to the pandemic.
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