The BCCI has not ruled out the possibility of hosting the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates if the situation does not permit them to host it in India. For the time being, BCCI’s priority is to host the event at home. But given that the situation in the country is still alarming, the board has kept UAE as a backup option.
According to the New Indian Express, even if the tournament is held in India, the number of cities/venues will be restricted to four. The IPL’s Governing Council, headed by Brijesh Patel, met virtually on Monday to chalk out a plan for this year’s edition. Like the last edition, held from September 19 to November 10, the BCCI wants to create a bio-secure bubble and would like to restrict the number of venues to cut down operational costs.
High-profile cricket will finally resume in India this month with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy while international cricket will resume in the country next month with the arrival of the England team for a full-fledged tour that includes four Tests, three T20Is, and as many ODIs. The series will be limited to only three venues — Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Pune because of the pandemic.
“We have not decided on any venues as yet. We just had our first meeting Dates for trading window and auction too will be decided soon,” IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel said.
Last year, the BCCI successfully staged the tournament in UAE at a time when the pandemic was almost at its peak. Not a single positive case was detected after the tournament was started in September before coming to an successful end in November. And if the situation in India does not improve by March, the IPL is set to be held in the gulf country.
The BCCI is also not in a hurry and is ready to wait till March to decide on the venue as it already has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Emirates Cricket Board to host the next edition of the IPL. Having shifted last edition’s tournament at a short notice, the BCCI believes going back to UAE will not be a problem.