For the first time ever, Guwahati is all but set to become a host city for Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, pending official announcement.
Earlier on Friday several reports emerged claiming that Assam Cricket Association (ACA) was likely to announce two matches of the 16th edition of the IPL to be played in Guwahati.
This comes as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is all set to announce the fixture list for this year's IPL edition.
Meanwhile, ACA President Taranga Gogoi confirmed that the reports about Guwahati playing host to IPL matches are as good as true. An official announcement this regard is awaited.
Taranga Gogoi said, "Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, there were talks of organising an IPL match in Guwahati. However, the plans were shelved during the pandemic as the IPL had to shifted to Dubai and was only played at selected venues."
He said, "Assam Cricket Association has always wanted to host an IPL match in Guwahati and as there are no northeast based teams in the IPL, we requested Rajasthan Royals to consider Guwahati as their home ground. On their behalf, a team came to inspect the ground and the facilities available."
"We do not have an official confirmation from their end, however, we are hopeful and it is very likely that we will be hosting an IPL match. With the schedule for this edition of the IPL impending, we are expecting to be given two matches towards the beginning of the season, that is, either the second or third matches," Gogoi added.
The ACA President further said that it will be a very good news for the cricket fans in Assam. He said, "We are expecting to be given two IPL matches on April 8 and April 10. Since the timing is around Bihu, and the weather is also expected to be rainy at that time of the year, we have requested the BCCI and Rajasthan Royals to consider the two dates before the Bihu festival."
Taranga Gogoi also went on to say that since Rajasthan Royals will be the home team, they will be arriving in Guwahati beforehand and will hold their practice sessions here. They are expected to arrive in March itself, while the two opposition IPL teams will be arriving according to the schedule."
He further stressed that the two dates, that is April 8 and April 10, are thought to be as good as finalised. "As far as I have come to know from verbal communication, those are the two dates that are most likely."