IPL 2020 set to be shifted to UAE with India observing a surge in COVID-19 cases

IPL 2020 set to be shifted to UAE with India observing a surge in COVID-19 cases

In 2014, UAE has hosted the first phase (20 matches) of IPL due to the Lok Sabha elections clashing with the tournament in India.

IPL 2018 BCCI Jammu and Kashmir
IPL trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

UAE has already started preparations to host Indian players for training sessions ahead of the mega tournament. The detonations surrounding the circumstances of a possible happening of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have maybe come to an end.

The 13th edition of this mega tournament is all set to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A media report said that the UAE Cricket Board has made an offer to the BCCI that it can host the Indian Premier League 2020, which has been postponed indefinitely due to coronavirus pandemic.

India has been observing a great surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 regularly and it is almost impossible as of now for BCCI to conduct the tournament in India for the next few months. Hence, the board is considering an option to give the hosting rights to other countries and the franchise owners have also given a green signal to conduct the tournament overseas.

Since the UAE has accommodated the tournament in the past, it makes them the front-runners to host the tournament this time. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is among the other countries to come up with an offer but the cash-rich league is unlikely to go there.

In 2014, UAE has hosted the first phase (20 matches) of IPL due to the Lok Sabha elections clashing with the tournament in India. Nevertheless, an official announcement from the Indian cricket board is still awaited.

The Head of Cricket & Events of Dubai Sports City — Salman Hanif, told Gulf News that they have already started preparations and aren’t scheduling any matches in the designated grounds to keep the wickets fresh. “The stadium has nine wickets on the top in case a large number of matches have to be accommodated within a smaller time-frame. We will not be scheduling any matches there to keep the wickets fresh,” Hanif told Gulf News.

UAE cricket officials optimistic about hosting this year’s IPL

UAE cricket officials are very optimistic about hosting the mega league as they feel they have the required facilities and grounds which are nearby to each other that can certainly facilitate them to create a bio-secure environment for the players amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The practice facilities are never going to be a problem as we have hosted multi-team events before. In the ICC complex alone, there are 38 wickets – spread over the two Oval grounds, the simulated turf wickets as well as the state-of-the-art indoor facilities in case they want to beat the heat,” Hanif added. Keeping in mind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament is going to be played behind closed doors in UAE too.

However, the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) is said to make their final statement after the apex council meeting that is scheduled to happen today (Friday). The BCCI is staring at a massive loss of INR 4,000 crore if the cash-rich league gets cancelled. The board has been adjourning their decision due to the clash of schedule with the T20 Cricket World Cup that is most likely to get cancelled or postponed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) during their meet on July 20.