While the cricket world waits for a decision on the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia and then the normally-glitzy Indian Premier League (IPL), UAE is keeping itself in the fray to welcome the BCCI along with its escort for the cash-rich tournament.
According to several reports, the BCCI has decided in favour of the UAE to host the IPL 2020 from September 26 to November 8. UAE has earlier hosted the seventh season of the IPL in 2014 due to General Elections in India.
IPL 2020 in UAE, more feasible
Considering that most of the IPL venues are adversely affected and – Mumbai and Pune have emerged as COVID-19 hotspots, the BCCI hopes to get the government’s go-ahead for shifting the IPL to UAE.
As for the dates, the BCCI’s options are: September 26 to November 8 or September 26 to November 14.
Once the T20 World Cup, supposed to be held over the same period, is officially postponed, the BCCI will approach the Indian government to check if they can host the IPL in India. If the situation in the country as regards the pandemic remains inconducive to hosting the tournament, they will shift the IPL to the UAE.
“With the arbitrator ruling against us [in the Deccan Chargers termination case, which could set the BCCI back by around ₹4,800 crore], it’s imperative for the IPL to be staged and it looks like UAE will be the most viable option,” said an apex council member on condition of anonymity.
The conditions in the UAE are pretty similar to that of India and the distance between the stadiums in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi is not too far, which is also an important factor for the BCCI.
“The stadium has nine wickets on the top in case a large number of matches have to be accommodated within a smaller time-frame. We will not be scheduling any matches there to keep the wickets fresh,” Salman Hanif, Head of Cricket & Events of Dubai Sports City, told Gulf News.
Camps for players
In Friday’s meeting, the committee members discussed several venues in India to hold training camp for the players but Motera, the largest cricket stadium in the world, in Ahmedabad was given preference due to its accommodation facility.
Meanwhile, the detailed schedule for the 13th season of the IPL is likely to be released in the first week of August. The Indian cricketers who will feature in the IPL will move to UAE for a five-week training camp from the third week of August to the first week of September.
Once the training camp is over, the IPL franchises will be free to organise training camps of their own ahead of the tournament opener.
“Ahmedabad can be someplace where we can hold training camp for players as we can create bio-bubble there,” the Apex Council member told ANI.
All members of the Apex Council attended the meeting, including the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah.