There is a rabid fan base for IPL matches. The big question for that fan base is whether the upcoming IPL season will be held in India or abroad.
The reason is the upcoming parliamentary elections. There is also news that the IPL matches may be shifted abroad as there is doubt whether the parliamentary elections and the IPL can be held simultaneously.
But what is the truth in this? Modi himself has spoken about this the other day. What did he talk about?
The IPL series has been running since 2008. India has had three parliamentary elections since the advent of the IPL. During the 2009 elections when the UPA coalition was in power, they shifted the IPL matches entirely to South Africa, citing security issues if holding the IPL matches and elections at the same time.
The entire 2009 season was held in South Africa. The first half of the season was held in Dubai during the 2014 parliamentary elections.
The election was held in 9 phases from April 7 to May 12. 20 matches were played in Dubai starting from 16th April till 30th April. The remaining matches were played in India.
They were clear that IPL should not be sent abroad even during the election in 2019 BJP rule. They felt that it would be a blow to their government and Modi’s image if the matches went abroad without providing security. The 2019 elections were held in 7 phases from April 11 to May 19. At the same time as the election, the IPL matches were also held in India from March 23 to May 12. During an election campaign rally in Rajasthan, Modi himself had politicized the IPL by criticizing the Congress. In that meeting,
“Indian youth have a lot of interest in IPL matches. However, in the past two IPL matches could not be played in India. The government at that time was afraid of terrorists. They have no courage. They said that they cannot provide police security for the IPL matches as the elections are going on. The election is still going on. On the other hand, celebrations like Navratri, Ramnavami, Hanuman Jayanti are also going on. IPL is also going on.’
As Modi had also used IPL as his election weapon.
The same government. Same Modi. Now the government will not agree to go and host the IPL abroad as it will be a big blow to the image they have built. BCCI will not do anything to defy the government. Also, if there was any plan to host the IPL abroad, the BCCI would have ticked off Dubai by now and got down to business. But nothing like that happened. Also, IPL venues such as Chepakkam have embarked on renovations for the IPL. They would not have started work without getting a message from BCCI. So, 99.9 percent of the upcoming IPL series will be held in India.
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