The thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is reportedly set to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The board, however, has made it clear that conducting the IPL this year remains its topmost priority. Earlier, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said the board would have to incur a loss of around Rs. 4000 crore if IPL does not take place due to the pandemic. IPL 2020 may be held from September 26 to November 6th in UAE. IPL schedule to be out in August first week. Indian Players will move to Dubai for a 5-week training camp from August 3rd week to September 1st week.
“We can’t keep our plans on hold. ICC has to decide on the T20 World Cup way forward and we have to decide on our plans. That is the reason tentative window has been zeroed down and we will start preparing as per this window for IPL”, said one of the BCCI members.
IPL to take place in UAE:
According to Outlook, IPL franchise owners met earlier this week and they had no qualms in the IPL going overseas this year. The report also stated that the BCCI is looking at a September-November window. Ganguly had previously said that while hosting IPL in India remains the priority, the board would not hesitate in moving outside the country if the situation does not improve.
What further brightens up the chances of IPL taking place in September-October is that the T20 Cricket World Cup is going to be canceled. The Asia Cup, which was scheduled to take place in September, has already been postponed. All eyes are now on ICC as they are likely to postpone the T20 World Cup too. The news outlet further stated that a source privy to developments in Australia said the cancellation of the marquee event is only “a matter of time.”
Given Coronavirus protocols, matches in the UAE will be held in front of empty stadiums. “That’s not a problem. IPL is more made for TV and the gate receipts will not be as much even if the crowds come in,” a team owner was quoted as saying in the report. The Middle East country suits BCCI as a venue. Stadiums in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi are not far from each other and there is enough infrastructure available to accommodate players, officials, and broadcast officials. IPL teams are expected to arrive in the UAE a month before the tournament starts.
Salman Hanif, Head of Cricket & Events of Dubai Sports City (which includes the Dubai International Stadium & the ICC Academy) said they were ready to put their best foot forward if the IPL is held here and to host the Indian players if they arrive in Dubai early for practice sessions. “The practice facilities are never be going to be a problem as we have hosted multi-team events before. In the ICC complex alone, there are 38 wickets – spread over the two Oval grounds, the simulated turf wickets as well as the state-of-the-art indoor facilities in case they want to beat the heat,” Hanif said.
“the IPL 2020 can be hosted closed doors, can be limited to fewer venues, can be taken overseas, can be even played without international players” This proves the intent of the BCCI and tells that the Indian board is desperate to organize IPL 2020 and they are ready to make compromises. The only roadblock to board’s intent currently is the T20 World Cup – if the ICC decides to remove that, the Indian board is ready with their plan IPL 2020.