Cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra shared words for advice for BCCI on how to conduct IPL 2022 without COVID-19 leaving a major impact on the tournament.
Prevalent COVID-19 conditions in India has created many difficulties for BCCI to conduct IPL in India since 2020. The governing body shifted the tournament to UAE in 2020 and was successful in conducting it in the gulf country.
They then decided to host IPL 2021 in India but after 29 games the tournament was marred by the emergence of coronavirus cases inside the bio-bubble of several teams. It forced the BCCI to suspend the tournament for months and eventually conduct the second phase in UAE.
However, a massive challenge now awaits for BCCI as they would be looking to host IPL 2022 in India. Notably, they also have to conduct mega-auction ahead of the tournament.
Speaking in a video posted on his YouTube channel, former Kolkata Knight Riders player Aakash Chopra said that IPL 2021 taught BCCI that it cannot be ambitious and cannot travel as they will be then flirting with danger
"If we have got learning from the last IPL, it is that you cannot be ambitious, you cannot travel. If you are going to travel too much, then you are flirting with danger, do not do that," Aakash Chopra said.
Chopra said that it’s unlikely that IPL 2022 will be held in UAE as there have been no discussions regarding that. He hoped the Coronavirus wave comes down in March and April, backing the league to take place in India.
"Where will the IPL happen? It is not happening in the UAE, it has not been part of any discussion till now. Because it will happen in March-April, the COVID wave should hopefully go down till then. Things will be a lot normal, a lot easier - it will happen in India," he said.
Reacting to the reports suggesting, that IPL 2022 will be held in Maharashtra, Chopra suggested that apart from three grounds in Mumbai, the tournament can also be played in Pune.
“But there has been a contingency plan kept to stage it in Maharashtra only because the travel is very limited in Maharashtra. There are three grounds in Mumbai and if you want to stretch it a little, you can go to Pune - which is at a driving distance,” he said.
Making the case for holding the IPL in India, Aakash Chopra said that if UAE's three grounds were enough for the previous two seasons, Maharashtra's four can be a possible host for IPL 2022 too.
"The entire IPL can happen on four grounds when you staged it in only three grounds in the UAE - Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. Then Maharashtra has four grounds - DY Patil, CCI, Wankhede Stadium, and Pune. So you can stage it there, that must be on the table," he concluded.