Mumbai, Gujarat were first choice to host IPL 2020; but Government declined

If you thought the UAE was Board of Control for India’s first choice to host the Indian Premier League 2020 for avoiding the COVID-19 viral threat, read this insight shared by a Governing Council member.

The board has moved the league to the Emirates only after an “informal” go ahead from the Union Government.

The BCCI had originally proposed two Indian States for staging the matches across three venues in a bio-secured bubble. Permission was denied due to massive spread of the virus in the two proposed States. The BCCI had no other option available in the country which could offer three venues in “close proximity” with other needed facilities like airports and luxury hotels.

It was only after an “informal, in-principle” nod from the Government that the BCCI had given a go ahead to the Emirates Cricket Board to start preparations for the IPL.

The Governing Council was informed that the Union Government in principal has cleared to move the league to the UAE, a formal nod will be received in the next couple of days.

“Mumbai and Gujarat were proposed for staging the league in a bio secured bubble. ICC’s Garware Stadium, Wankhede Stadium and the DY Patil stadiums were the proposed venues for Mumbai; and Ahmedabad, Baroda and Rajkot for Gujarat,” a Governing Council member confirmed to SportzFront on condition of anonymity.

“The Government ruled out any possibility to stage the league in India this year due to a spike in the COVID-19 cases in the country. UAE has been picked as the venue in consultation with Government.”

The Board had informed the Government that the UAE can be the best possible and safest choice for numerous reasons, including “our past experience. We have held the IPL in the UAE partially in 2014. They (the ECB) have also staged an Asia Cup for us (the BCCI). Both the experiences were very satisfactory.

“The Gulf countries have managed to keep corona (novel coronavirus) under check. There is no restriction on international flights. So that made UAE a natural choice for us,” said the official.

A formal Government nod for moving the league out of India was a big question before the GC to approve the IPL 2020 in the UAE. The official said that the board has been assured by the authorities to go ahead with its plans. The permissions will be coming in the next few days. There is no glitch. The delay was caused by a long weekend and the ministries functioning with skeletal staff.

Admin Sportz Front

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