BCCI receives written approvals from the government to stage IPL 2020 in UAE

Brijesh Patel also revealed that a lot of companies have shown their interest to replace Vivo and become the new title sponsors of the IPL.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI is all set to stage the much-awaited IPL 2020 in the UAE. The T20 extravaganza is scheduled to hit the floors from September 19th in the Middle East country, with the final being on November 10th. The cash-rich league is going to be hosted in three cities — Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The Indian government, last week, had given an ‘in principle’ go-ahead to the BCCI to shift the tournament to the UAE as COVID-19 cases in India are increasing with every passing day. IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel, on Monday, revealed that the BCCI has also received formal approval by the central government to host this year’s IPL in the UAE.

Talking about the title sponsor of IPL 2020, Patel said that the board will announce a new name by August 18th. Chinese mobile brand VIVO had recently pulled out as the title sponsors of the tournament after receiving backlash on social media.

Whoever bids the most gets the title sponsorship: Brijesh Patel

The border stand-off between India and China has been the reason behind relations turning sour between them. After the departure of Vivo, many brands including Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has shown interest in becoming the new title sponsor. Patel revealed that a lot of companies have shown their interest to replace Vivo and become the new title sponsors of the IPL.

“Yes, we have received all the written approvals,” Patel responded when asked whether the BCCI has received permission from both the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). In order to stage a tournament abroad, it requires clearance from Home, External and sports ministries respectively.

“It is not a setback (Vivo pulling out), there is already a lot of interest (for title rights). Whether an Indian company or from anywhere else, whoever bids the most gets the rights. We will finalise the whole process by August 18,” Patel added, as quoted by Cricket Next.

Most of the IPL franchises will be flying out after August 20 after two mandatory RT-PCR (COVID-19 tests) conducted within 24 hours from their departure base. MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings, set to leave for the UAE on August 22, are going to have a small camp first at their home ground Chepauk in on the insistence of the skipper.

“Once we had the verbal okay from the government, we had intimated the Emirates Cricket Board. Now we have the papers also, so the franchises can be intimated that everything is in order,” a veteran BCCI official also revealed on the condition of anonymity.