According to Cricbuzz, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have confirmed as the United Arab Emirates to be the venue for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, as per IPL chairperson Brijesh Patel.
Patel told Cricbuzz, “We have written to the government seeking permission to host the tournament in UAE. The dates have not been finalised as yet and will be decided at the (next) IPL GC, which will be held in the next seven or ten days.”
Patel, though, insisted that the possibility of hosting the tournament in India hasn’t been ruled out as yet. The decision will be taken in the upcoming IPL Governing Council meeting.
The statements come a day after the announcement of the postponement of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020, which was scheduled to take place in Australia. The BCCI were always looking to cash on the vacated window, and now that the confirmation of the postponement has been given, the BCCI would ideally want to schedule it between September and November.
The BCCI held an Apex Council meeting last week to discuss the feasibility of the league, considering various options. BCCI’s first-choice country of hosting the tournament was considered to be on home soil, with Mumbai’s three stadiums, The Wankhede, Brabourne and the DY Patil Stadium being the venues. The alarmingly swift rise in coronavirus cases in the country and Mumbai, the city with the most cases in the country, the Sourav Ganguly-led board identified UAE as the next best bet. In fact, the BCCI has also written to the Indian government to obtain necessary permission for travel of the players and officials.
The Emirates Cricket Board is all set to host the mega T20 league and is just waiting for a confirmation from the BCCI. Emirates Cricket Board secretary Mubashshir Usmani was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo, “We are ready to fully support the IPL if it chooses to come and play in the UAE. We will provide all the support concerning the protocol and government permission required to host the IPL. We are waiting for written confirmation from BCCI.”
The teams are expected to start preparing for the tournament one month prior to its commencement, not just for training, but to adhere to the quarantine rules in the UAE. It is very much probable that the entirety of the tournament will be played behind closed doors.