Following the confirmation of the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the postponement of the T20 World Cup due to be held in Australia, the Indian Premier League (IPL) finally found a window to commence the cash-rich tournament. The franchisees had already been working on their plans for the IPL while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is just waiting for the government’s nod.
The BCCI has already written to the government and is awaiting a formal go signal. “We have written to the government and are hoping for a reply soon. We will then meet,” IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel said. IPL 2020 was originally scheduled to take place in March was pushed back to April 15 and later postponed indefinitely in due to the ongoing threats of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Patel has earlier confirmed that the thirteenth edition of the IPL will be held in the UEA. In 2009, South Africa hosted the second IPL, while the first half of the 2014 season took place across three stadiums in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. Previously, Sri Lanka and UAE offered to host the tournament while India remains in combat with the pandemic. The 2014 host emerged in the process.
When asked if IPL 2020 will be played behind closed doors, Patel said the decision “depends on the UAE government”. Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi will be hosting the matches. The governing body is looking to host a camp in UAE for their contracted players. The camp will be a short one and will assess fitness of the players. Some reports said that the camp is most likely to be held at the ICC Academy in Dubai.
A full-fledged IPL consisting of 60 matches is on the cards and the league is expected to be completed inside 44 days between September 26 to November 08. While the official dates are yet to be decided, BCCI wants to conclude the tournament early in November to ensure the Indian players can leave on time for their Test series against Australia which gets underway from December 03.
Meanwhile, franchise owners had already been working on their plans for the IPL even before the ICC announcement. “Our players will need at least three to four weeks of training, if not more. We will finalise all our plans once the BCCI announces the dates. It looks like the IPL will be in the UAE and we are ready for that,” a team owner told a news portal.
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