The steadily rising COVID-19 cases and connected uncertainties have made it impossible for the IPL’s 2020 edition to be played in its home country. This scenario has led the Indian Premier League to shift this year’s contest out of India to be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 8.
This was confirmed on Friday by Brijesh Patel, the Chairman of IPL, which is governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, BCCI, the UAE’s official news agency WAM reports.
The IPL has millions of fans in India, the sub-continent, and in the Gulf. It is normally played in eight cities in India in April-May every year. The League’s brand value is informally estimated at $ 6.7 billion.
The COVID-19 pandemic and a complete lockdown imposed by the Indian government during the traditional IPL season resulted in a suspension of the games this year.
This will be the second time that the IPL will be played in the UAE. In 2014, fearing disruptions to the games on account of India’s parliamentary elections during the IPL season, the BCCI split the games into two phases.
The first phase of the 2014 games was played at three stadia in the UAE, but the second phase, including the final, was held in India after the election was over.
The replanting of IPL to the UAE is subject to clearance by the Indian government. “We have written to the Indian government. We are expecting a reply soon. Once it comes in, an IPL governing council meeting will be called next week to finalise all the other details,” Patel said today.
Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai are the likely venues in the UAE. “We will seek the advice of the UAE government if we can have any crowds,” Patel said. He and his team will collaborate on such details with the Emirates Cricket Board, ECB, which will play a lead local role in staging this event.
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