Part of Indian cricket league ‘likely in S’pore

Part of Indian cricket league ‘likely in S’pore

SINGAPORE- The Indian cricket board (BCCI) will most likely hold a part of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) in Singapore next year, a board official indicated yesterday.

According to the official, who did not want to be named, BCCI is keen to hold a major part of the seventh edition of the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament outside India because its scheduled April to June window is set to clash with the country's general election.

Mr Ranjib Biswal, the IPL's new chairman, was quoted in Indian newspaper The Economic Times yesterday as saying that Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa are being considered as alternative venues.

"We are keen to hold the tournament in India, but if the circumstances are such that we can't, then we will look at holding a part of it in either Singapore or Malaysia." A decision will be made by the end of this month.

A source privy to the developments in Singapore said BCCI officials are impressed by the cricketing facilities that the Sports Hub will offer. Its main stadium, scheduled to be inaugurated in April, will have a drop-in pitch and facilities to stage international-standard cricket matches.

Only the logistics for the tournament, which attracted about 125 million viewers worldwide this year, remain to be worked out.

Mr Mark Collins, managing director of Singapore Sports Hub, said it would welcome the opportunity to host a premier event such as an Indian Premier League cricket match, but for now, "nothing has been confirmed".

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