The postponement of the T20 World Cup has officially opened the window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2020. On Monday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that the showpiece event will be held next year.
Sportstar understands that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has short-listed the end of September to the first or second week of November window — and now, it will officially seek clearance from the Indian government to host the IPL.
Though some of the BCCI officials still claim that the efforts are on to host the tournament in the country, it has been learnt that the United Arab Emirates has been chosen as the best possible venue to host the franchise-based league.
However, the franchises are still waiting for an official word from the BCCI about the road ahead. “We have been hearing a lot of things. Formally, we are yet to hear anything from the board. Now that the T20 World Cup is formally postponed, it is definitely a ray of hope for the IPL,” one of the franchise bosses said.
The IPL — originally scheduled in the March-May window — had to be put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. To put things in order, the IPL Governing Council is likely to meet later this week to deliberate on the future course of action.
This publication spoke to multiple officials in the cricketing circles of the United Arab Emirates, who confirmed that they are ready to help the BCCI in every possible way. “We have all the facilities and things are safe here, so it would be a great move if the IPL finally comes here again. We will extend all our support to the league,” a senior official, who was part of the proceedings when the first-leg of the IPL was held in the UAE in 2014, said.
With access to three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — conducting the matches would be easier in terms of logistics. However, it's still not certain whether Sharjah will host any of the matches.
“We will have to keep everything in mind as we start preparation. But it will be a good thing to have the tournament, even in the UAE. We hope to have more clarity over the next few weeks,” one of the franchise executives said, indicating that they have started chalking out plans internally.
“There’s still some time and we need to ensure that we are well-prepared,” he said.
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