With the remainder of the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) set to take place in the United Arab Emirates, the franchises have started working on the logistic side of things.
While the franchises are looking to shift base to the UAE by the third week of August, a final call will be taken after the BCCI finalizes the quarantine protocols following its discussion with the UAE government and the Emirates Cricket Board.
“As of now, we only have the communication that the remaining part of the IPL will be held in the UAE after Saturday’s Special General Meeting. We are also aware that the BCCI office-bearers are in talks with the ECB on the plan of action and are currently in Dubai. So, once we have a clarity on the protocols that will be in place, especially with regards to teams quarantining after reaching UAE, we can block the hotel rooms accordingly,” the official said as quoted by ANI.
The official further stated that barring one or two teams, the franchises will be using the same hotels that they used last year.
“Talks are on and once we hear from the BCCI on the travel plan, we will close the deal with the hotel,” said the official.
“Barring one or two teams, you can expect most of the teams to book the same hotels which they did last season because it helps as both the teams as well as the hotel staff know exactly what they are looking at when it comes to the bio-bubbles and arrangements for travel to the ground and other areas that need special focus with an eye on the COVID-19 situation,” the official explained.
What the franchises are more interested in, is whether overseas players will be allowed to feature in the UAE leg of the cash-rich league
With the T20 World Cup proceeding the T20 league, most countries have international commitments lined up which might lead to several overseas stars missing the competition.
The franchise owners, however, are confident that BCCI will find a way to persuade member boards to release their players.
“What we were made aware after the BCCI SGM is that the board will be speaking to the foreign boards and, check on the availability of the foreign cricketers. We are confident that the BCCI will find the best possible solution and honestly, it is a matter of the BCCI officials speaking to the respective board officials, so we should wait to hear from the board on this,” added the franchise official.
As far as the travel plans are concerned, the official said that just like last season, the BCCI will allotting the timeline as to when the teams can start leaving for the UAE.
“If you remember, last year we were given a specific date (August 20) before which we couldn’t leave for UAE. With the tournament once again starting around September 18-19, we should be given the same kind of window to start shifting base to UAE. With the discussions with hotels already on, it shouldn’t be such a big concern. As of now, we are looking at traveling around the third week of August,” the official said.
The 2021 season of the IPL was suspended prematurely last month following multiple Covid positive cases across four different franchises. The remainder of the season will take place in the UAE from mid-September.