In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak , sporting leagues across the globe had to be either called off or postponed indefinitely. The 13th season of India’s elite cricket tournament, Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the tournaments which faced the fate of unprecedented postponement. However, cricket fans got some good news after the Emirates Cricket Board (EMCB) confirmed receiving an official request from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to host the 13th season of the IPL.
“We have received the (official) letter and now wait on the decision from the Indian government which will ink the final deal,” said EMCB Secretary-General Mubashshir Usmani.
In the statement the Emirates Cricket Board stated — while the Board waits for a notice from BCCI that the Indian government has approved to move the IPL from India (to the UAE) — both the Boards have fully mobilised and have instigated discussions with the relevant authorities, including their respective internal working-committees, in the preparation of hosting the tournament (touted as starting 19 September with the final proposed for 8 November) in a safe, protected environment.
“There are many factors which influence the operations and logistics of hosting what is the world’s most exciting, popular and lucrative tournament,” said Usmani. “This is a massive movement of people and equipment and we now need to bring in the experts to discuss all aspects of UAE hosting the IPL. This includes the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah Sports Councils, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah Tourism Bodies and the respective government entities — such as the Police Forces and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, all who have had strong, proven experience in such activities and we will work together to ascertain the best practices to support and deliver on a successful edition.”
The UAE had earlier hosted the first 20 matches of IPL 2014 owing to the general elections in India. Usmani noted that the UAE is well-positioned with its experience in delivering the 2020 edition. “We have a sound, solid understanding of what is required, and to whom we need to consult and engage with from this early stage through to the close of the Tournament.”
Commenting on UAE’s cricket infrastructure, he added: “UAE boasts some of the best practice facilities and stadia in the world across three-Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah) which we are confident will be more than adequate to support the 8-team tournament.”
IPL 2020 was initially scheduled for 29 March. However, BCCI was waiting for ICC and ACC to postpone World T20 and the Asia Cup after which BCCI decided to give a nod to the tournament. The UAE was selected as the venue and the dates were announced earlier last week by the IPL chairman Brijesh Patel.
Mumbai Indians, the most successful IPL team, having won the tournament four times and having finished runners up on one occasions, would be defending their title on the Arabain soil later this year.