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New Zealand is the latest country after UAE and Sri Lanka which has offered to host the IPL in case the billion-dollar league can't be held in India due to rising cases of coronavirus.

The postponement announcement of the T20 World Cup, to be held in October-November in Australia, is imminent, creating a window for the IPL.

The BCCI has already zeroed in on the end September-early November window for the IPL.

The board's first choice is staging the tournament at home but that is looking increasingly unlikely with India having the third largest case load of coronavirus cases behind Brazil and USA.

"Staging the event in India has to be the first choice but in case it is not safe to have it, then we will look at the overseas options. UAE, Sri Lanka and New Zealand have also offered to host the IPL," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

"We will sit down with all stakeholders (broadcaster, teams, etc) and take a call. The safety of the players is paramount. There will be no compromise on that," the official said.

The IPL has been held overseas in the past. The entire 2009 edition was staged in South Africa due to the general election back home and partially in the UAE in 2014 due to the same reason.

However in 2019, despite elections, BCCI managed to schedule the IPL in India avoiding clashing with poll dates in various states.

The UAE again is the front-runner to host the tournament if it happens overseas. Sri Lanka is a cost-effective option while New Zealand, which has been largely free from COVID-19, but practical feasibility is an issue.

With New Zealand, India has a seven and half hour time difference and even if it starts at 12:30 pm in the afternoon, maximum office-goers (even those who work from home) will miss the action.
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