The Board of Control for Cricket in India has reportedly confirmed to the Emirates Cricket Board that the Indian Premier League 2020 will be staged in the UAE.
The Government of India’s formal nod to move the IPL out of the country is yet to come. The IPL Governing Council is yet to meet for confirmation on staging the league at an offshore venue due to COVID-19 spread in the country. But the BCCI has jumped the gun, if a report in the Khaleej Times is to be believed.
The Gulf daily has reported that the BCCI has sent a formal confirmation to the ECB to stage the IPL Season 13 in the Emirates. IPL GC chairman Brijesh Patel has reportedly confirmed to the daily that the BCCI has sent the acceptance letter to the ECB.
Patel earlier last week had also confirmed that the league will be staged between September 19 and November 8 in the UAE.
GC NOT ON SAME PAGE
However, GC member Surinder Khanna had told SportzFront on Sunday that the Governing Council will take the final decision on the IPL. “We will have to find answers for some questions before taking a final call,” Khanna had said. That indicates that the GC is not on the same page about the IPL. Or, the decisions about the IPL are being made by the select few in the board along with Patel.
The GC Meeting in that case will be a mere formal exercise to put a stamp of approval on the decision already taken in implemented.
BCCI, ECB TO WORK TOGETHER
The BCCI and the ECB will now work jointly to stage the league. “Yes, we have sent the acceptance letter to the Emirates Cricket Board and both the boards will be working together from now on to stage the tournament,” Patel has reportedly said.
TEAMS’ TRAINING CAMPS IN UAE
Patel has also revealed that all the eight IPL franchises – Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and the Royal Challengers Bangalore – will assemble their squads in the UAE for pre-event training and conditioning camp.
“The teams need at least three to four weeks to prepare for the tournament,” he said and added that the training camps will be held in a ‘bio-secure’ environment.
The ECB, however, has not yet confirmed that it had received the acceptance letter from the BCCI. ECB general secretary Mubashir Usman though stated that a formal announcement in this regard will be made through a Press release today (Monday).
The UAE had emerged as the first choice to host the cash-rich professional T20 league, after the COVID-19 pandemic had derailed the original scheduled between March and May. Sri Lanka Cricket too had made an offer to host the league, but cricket facilities, infrastructure and open international air travel weighed in favour of the Emirates.
UAE’s remarkable success in dealing with the menace of coronavirus and its experience of hosting the first phase of the 2014 IPL made it the obvious choice for staging the 2020 edition.
The BCCI, after postponing the league by one month initially, was compelled to suspend it indefinitely. However, the window of opportunity was opened with the postponement of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. The ICC after months of speculation had confirmed earlier this month that the T20 World Cup 2020 has been deferred by a year.