The Emirates Cricket Board has some ambitious plans for the Indian Premier League 2020, which has been confirmed from September 19 to November 8 in the UAE. The action to implement these plans will only begin after confirmation on the clearance from the Government of India to staging the league in the Emirates.
ECB is willing to fill up to 30% to 50% of the stadium capacity for the matches. That will need an approval from the Emirates’ Governments. The ECB cannot formally apply for an approval before a confirmation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India that the Government of India has given a go ahead to the the league out of India.
The Ministry of Sports has reportedly cleared the file, which also needs approvals from the Ministries of Home and External Affairs.
The BCCI though has given a consent to the ECB to prepare for staging the 60 IPL games over 51 days.
Meanwhile, the ECB is optimistic about getting permission from the UAE authorities to allow spectators in limited numbers. “Once we get the confirmation from the BCCI (on Indian government’s approval), we will go to our government with the complete proposal and SOPs which will be prepared by us and the BCCI,” ECB General Secretary Mubashshir Usmani has told national news agency PTI.
“We will definitely want our people to experience this prestigious event but it is totally the Government’s decision. For most events here, the number ranges from thirty to 50 percent capacity, we are looking at a similar number.
The UAE is among the nations which have managed to control the spread of novel coronavirus. With around 7,000 COVID-19 positive reports so far, life in the Emirates has been near normal. Though there have been guidelines in place to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Despite the cancellation of the 2020 Dubai Rugby Sevens event, the ECB is optimistic that the environment in the UAE is safe to stage the IPL.
TEAMS’ TRAVEL PLAN
All the teams will be travelling separately to the UAE via chartered flights. They are awaiting a formal confirmation from the BCCI. The letter from the Board, a consent from the Emirates and approval from the Government of India will be mandatory to secure group visas.
“Since, we will be travelling by a chartered flight there is no concern like making advance bookings. All the teams have their own travel plans. All that is tentative as long as we don’t get something in writing,” a franchisee official told SportzFront.
The teams will be reaching the Emirates latest by the last week of August. Chennai Super Kings are expected to be the first ones to arrive by August 12.
Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to reach the UAE by August 19, almost a week after the CSK. While all the teams expected to arrive in the UAE by the last week of August.
The teams will not be quarantined on their arrival in the UAE, except for a brief isolation period till the time players get their COVID-19 test reports.
OVERSEAS PLAYERS AVAILABILITY
All the overseas players are expected to join their respective squads well in time for the first round games. South Africa can be an exception as except for Imran Tahir, other players will be reaching the UAE only after the first-round of matches.
Players from Sri Lanka may also get late by several days.
ALL EYES ON IPL GC
Meanwhile, all eyes are focused on the IPL Governing Council, which is scheduled to have its virtual meeting on Sunday (tomorrow). The CG among various items on the agenda will have to finalise the SOPs, confirm schedule and above all put a stamp of authority on the BCCI decision to host the IPL 2020 in the UAE.