UAE emerges as the only viable venue option for IPL

The ICC Board is set to meet on Monday and besides finalising the election procedure for the chairman’s post, it is expected to announce deferment of IPL.

A jubilant Mumbai Indians side after beating Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2019 final.   -  Getty Images

In anticipation of the T20 World Cup’s postponement to be made public early next week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has prepared a back-up plan for staging the Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) postponed 2020 edition.

Ever since the pandemic broke out in India in March, the IPL’s 13th edition has been indefinitely postponed.

The IPL’s fate has been linked to the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15, since October-November is the only available window for rescheduling the league.

The ICC Board is set to meet on Monday and besides finalising the election procedure for the chairman’s post, it is eaxpected to announce deferment of IPL. Anticipating the ICC’s move, the BCCI’s apex council was presented with options for scheduling the IPL.

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It is understood that the apex council was told that the BCCI will seek government’s advice and permission on staging the IPL. The BCCI has prepared two options each for venues and dates.

The tournament will be either played at the four stadiums in the Mumbai-Pune corridor or move to the United Arab Emirates. As for the schedule, the BCCI has presented options of September 26 to November 7 and September 26 to November 14.

If the government disagrees to the proposition, considering Mumbai and Pune have emerged as COVID-19 hotspots, the BCCI hopes to get a go-ahead to shift the tournament to the UAE. “With the arbitrator ruling against us, it’s imperative for the IPL to be staged and it looks like UAE will be the most viable option this time around,” said an apex council member, preferring anonymity.

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