The thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League is likely to be held outside India this year with UAE and Sri Lanka emerging as the likely destinations, according to a report by IANS.

Sporting activities in India are unlikely to resume in the near future due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, who are keen to host the event, are waiting on International Cricket Council’s decision on the T20 World Cup in Australia scheduled for October. BCCI is eyeing the October-November window to host a shortened version of the tournament.

“We are yet to decide on the venue but in all probability, it is going outside this year,” an official was quoted as saying by IANS.

“The condition in India doesn’t look suited to have so many teams come in at one or two venues and then create an atmosphere which will be safe for the players as well as the general public even though the games may be played behind closed doors.”

The official added: “The race is between UAE and Sri Lanka and we will need to decide on where we host the league depending on the situation there with regards to the coronavirus pandemic. Logistics also need to be looked into, so we will decide soon.”

IPL chairman Brijesh Patel had recently stated that location was not a concern as the UAE and the Sri Lankan cricket boards had voiced their approval to play hosts. The tournament was held in UAE in 2014, when the general elections were underway.

“They [Emirates Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket] have informed us that they are prepared to host the IPL. But our first preference is India, if we get the government’s permission,” Patel had told The Hindu.

“It is certain that we cannot play at more than three or four venues in India, but the permissions will depend on how the Covid-19 outbreak pans out. Otherwise we will have to explore playing overseas, which will be the last option. Once you are playing without spectators, it doesn’t really matter where you are playing as long as it suits television timings,”