The BCCI is set to conduct the 2022 IPL from last week of March to end of May and efforts would be made to host the lucrative event in India as per the wishes of team owners, Board secretary Jay Shah said on Saturday.
If sources are to be believed, the tentative start date is March 27.
"I am delighted to confirm that the 15th season of the IPL will start in the last week of March and will run until May end. A majority of the team owners expressed their wish that the tournament be held in India," Shah was quoted as saying in a press note issued by the BCCI.
He also made it clear that the board's first preference is to hold the event in India.
"The BCCI was always keen on staging the 2022 edition that will see two new teams – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – in India. I can tell you that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that IPL stays in India," Shah said.
While the UAE and South Africa are back-up options as per sources who attended the meeting, Shah stressed that the health safety of all stakehoders including players, match officials is paramount for the board.
"The BCCI has not compromised on the health and safety of its stakeholders in the past and will concurrently work on Plan B since the COVID-19 situation with new variants remains fluid.
"The mega IPL Auction will take place on February 12-13th and we will lock in venues before that," Shah further added.
The BCCI was initially mulling two start dates for the next IPL with some preferring a March 27 kickoff and few other influential people wanting the mega event to begin on April 2, which conforms to the Lodha Committee ruling.
"Some of the owners prefer March 27 start but India play their last international game against Sri Lanka, a T20I at Lucknow on March 18, and then you need a 14-day gap as per Lodha rule which is why April 2 is also an option for start date," a senior BCCI official said.
It is understood that the India players will also be exhausted after staying in three back-to-back bubbles in South Africa (away) and at home against West Indies and Sri Lanka.
"The BCCI must take bubble fatigue of players into account if they start IPL in less than 10 days of completion of Sri Lanka tour," a BCCI source said.
However, after Shah's statement, it looks like March 27 will be locked in.