The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed its decision to postpone the T20 World Cup. This has presented the Indian cricket board (BCCI) with a window of opportunity to host Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 between September and November of this year. Season 13 of IPL is set to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The year 2020 was supposed to be a cricket extravaganza for fans across the globe with the IPL, T20 World Cup, India-Australia series and many more bilateral series’ scheduled for the year. However, the tournaments had to be postponed or cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
After Cricket Australia expressed its concern to host the T20 World Cup, ICC had no choice but to postpone the tournament which was supposed to take place from the 18th October. BCCI has taken up this opportunity to stage the IPL during this period, even if it means organising the tournament in a foreign country.
The Covid-19 situation in India doesn’t look too promising and organising the IPL in India seems futile. BCCI was looking for a possible solution to host this season’s IPL and avoid a potential $536m loss in revenue. Boards from several countries like Sri Lanka and UAE offered to host the lucrative tournament. IPL chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that the 2020 edition of the tournament is being shifted to the UAE and BCCI has requested the government for approval of the same.
Word from the camp emerged that the tournament will be held from September 19th to November 8th. Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi will be the three venues where the matches will take place. Since these stadiums are within a short distance of each other, the logistics won’t be an issue. The matches will be held behind closed doors.
IPL is not unaccustomed to moving to a foreign country. The 2009 IPL was shifted to South Africa due to elections in India. The first few matches of the seventh season of IPL were held in UAE due to the same reason. “We have played there before, and they are familiar with organising international matches. They are well-equipped. From a pandemic position, too, the situation is significantly better there.” Patel said about the UAE.
With almost no cricket matches happening, the fans are eagerly waiting for some action from the field. The IPL, if held this year, will have no shortage of viewership as cricket fans will finally have an outlet.
So get ready folks, “Bulava Aaya Hai”.