IPL in UAE: Indian board sends acceptance letter to ECB
Dubai - The teams will hold the pre-tournament training camps in the UAE.
The UAE has moved a step closer to hosting the 2020 Indian Premier League as Brijesh Patel, the chairman of the IPL Governing Council, confirmed to Khaleej Times on Sunday that the Indian cricket board had sent the acceptance letter to Emirates Cricket Board.
The UAE emerged as the strongest contender to host the 13th edition of the cash-rich Indian T20 league, which was scheduled to start from March 29, after it had been postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At one stage, the chances of having the IPL this year looked bleak, especially with the disturbing rise in the Covid-19 cases in India.
But the UAE's remarkable success in dealing with the menace of coronavirus and its experience of hosting the first phase of the 2014 IPL put it in the pole position to become the perfect venue for a league that generates 11 billion dollars a year and draw the biggest international superstars in cricket.
And the postponement of the 2020 T20 World Cup (October 18-November 15) due to the travel restrictions in Australia, the host country, gave the BCCI the window to stage the delayed IPL in the UAE.
The ECB had sent the proposal to the BCCI in April. And now finally, after endless speculations, Patel, the IPL Governing Council chairman, confirmed on Sunday that the BCCI had accepted the proposal to host the IPL in the UAE.
"Yes, we have sent the acceptance letter to the Emirates Cricket Board and both the boards will be working together from now on to stage the tournament," the dashing former Indian batsman told Khaleej Times on Sunday.
Patel also confirmed that the eight IPL franchises - Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and the Royal Challengers Bangalore - will hold their respective pre-tournament training camps in the UAE.
"The teams need at least three to four weeks to prepare for the tournament," said Patel before adding that the training camps will be held in the UAE in a 'bio-secure' environment.
There has been no confirmation from the ECB yet on receiving the acceptance letter from the BCCI.
But the ECB general secretary, Mubashir Usmani, revealed that the country's cricket board would make an announcement through a 'press release' on Monday.
"We (the ECB) are going to send a press release on the issue tomorrow (Monday). But at this point in time, I cannot reveal more than that," Usmani told Khaleej Times on Sunday.
The BCCI is expected to make an official announcement after the IPL Governing Council meeting this week. The richest cricket board also needs the stamp of approval from the Indian government to stage the tournament in a foreign country.
Earlier, Patel had confirmed that the IPL would be staged in the UAE from September 19 to November 8, pending government approval.
Having already staged the first phase of the IPL in 2014, the UAE is ready to deliver another successful tournament.
"The Emirates Cricket Board is ready and willing to provide all the support to the Indian cricket board whenever they opt to host (the IPL) outside India," Usmani had said last week.