Brijesh Patel, the chairperson of the Indian Premier League, has confirmed that the BCCI have received official confirmation from the Indian Government to conduct this year’s IPL in the United Arab Emirates.
“We have got the official permission from the government to hold IPL in UAE,” said Patel.
Now that the official word has been given by the government, the franchises will meet the BCCI office-bearers to discuss the Standard Operating Procedures as well as address any concerns franchises have before departing off to UAE tentatively around August 21.
The BCCI stated in an official release, “Taking note of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in India, the IPL GC decided to stage the tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi subject to necessary clearances from the Government of India.”
The approval from the Government will act as a major boost for the BCCI, who have been faced with several logistical and administrative hurdles to move the tournament out of India amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, the biggest concern for BCCI is to arrange for a title sponsor after VIVO pulled out of sponsorship by way of invoking the Force Majeure clause in their contract. Brijesh Patel told Cricbuzz, “There is a lot of interest (in acquiring the IPL title rights), so let’s see what we get.”
It remains to be seen, however, if the new sponsor or an association of sponsors can match VIVO’s valuation of Rs. 440 crores per season, although the BCCI has sought to mitigate any losses by setting the base value of the bid at INR 300 crores. Fifty per cent of this winning-bid value will be split eight ways among the franchises as per the revised revenue-sharing agreement.
All the franchises have also started preparations for the league and will ferry their players to UAE in the third and fourth week of the month. Chennai Super Kings were looking to ferry their players to UAE in the second week but the BCCI has asked the franchises to leave the country after August 20.
The players are likely to travel without their family members due to logistical issues as only a certain number of people can enter the team hotels. Meanwhile, the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and other Indian players who are part of CSK are set to assemble in Chennai for one-week camp from August 15.