UAE ready to host Indian players, IPL 2020

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has started gearing up to host Indian Premier League and the Indian players for training camp should the BCCI give a green signal. Multiple reports have suggested that UAE are the frontrunners to host the 13th edition of IPL. India has been witnessing a record number of COVID-19 cases on a regular basis and BCCI is unlikely to be permitted to host a mega-event for at least next 3-4 months.

Hence, the board is also open to moving the tournament outside the country. Since UAE has hosted the tournament in past, it makes them a strong contender to stage the league. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) also came with an offer but the tournament is unlikely to move there. In 2014, UAE had hosted the first 20 matches of IPL.

Salman Hanif, Dubai Sports City’s Head of Cricket and Events, revealed that they have started their preparations and aren’t scheduling any matches to keep the wickets fresh.

“The stadium has nine wickets on the top in case a large number of matches have to be accommodated within a smaller time-frame. We will not be scheduling any matches there to keep the wickets fresh,” Hanif said.

“The practice facilities are never going to be a problem as we have hosted multi-team events before. In the ICC complex alone, there are 38 wickets – spread over the two Oval grounds, the simulated turf wickets as well as the state-of-the-art indoor facilities in case they want to beat the heat,” he added.

BCCI is expected to come up with a word regarding the future of IPL and domestic season after the Apex Council meeting that is scheduled to take place today (Friday).

Cricket Age had published the news on July 15 itself that this year’s IPL will be played in the UAE, as BCCI has had advanced talks with the Emirates Cricket Board to host the IPL 2020 in UAE, as the franchise owners, who met earlier this week, had no qualms in the IPL going overseas this year.

The tournament brings in almost 4,000 crores of revenue to the Indian cricket board from global broadcasting rights and sponsorship.

The eight franchises each get a 50 per cent share of BCCI’s revenue from broadcast right. IPL teams can make a profit of anything between 100-150 crores a season.

UAE has hosted the IPL before. In 2014, a portion of the IPL was held in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi because some 20 matches of the initial phase was clashing with the general elections.

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N Krishnamurthy