The mini-IPL, BCCI’s latest money making extravaganza, is likely to be held in North America or the United Arab Emirates, with a final decision to come very soon. The Board has already begun talks with broadcasters Star India and will also call a meeting with the franchises for further discussions.
The BCCI formally decided to explore the option of hosting a Mini IPL overseas in September during the Annual BCCI four-day conclave at Dharamshala. The Indian cricket team is not scheduled to play any cricket in September and the BCCI was looking to explore the foreign market with a Mini IPL overseas and decided to go ahead with the plan.
The tournament is seen as a replacement for now-defunct T20 Champions League, a tournament between the best teams from T20 leagues around the world, which was discontinued post the 2014 edition. With the Indian cricket team in the West Indies for a four-Test tour till late August, and the mini-IPL touted to be in early September, they could be flown to the destination straight from the Caribbean, if it is conducted in North America, cricbuzz reported. The UAE has an advantage though, with their time zone being more suitable for Indian television viewers.
The Star network is expected to be BCCI’s preferred choice with Sony Pictures Network India's (SPNI) IPL rights up for renewal. However, SPNI holds a first-rights-of-refusal clause in its contract with the BCCI and they are expected to retain the rights, reported cricbuzz.
The BCCI might be looking to humour the party losing out on the rights of the ‘original’ IPL by awarding the rights of mini-IPL to them. The BCCI is yet to discuss its strategy with the franchises, the biggest stakeholders in the league, and a meeting will happen soon. "They'll be calling for a meeting soon, probably within the next two weeks," a franchise official told cricbuzz.