In all probability, the entire 2020 IPL would be played in the UAE and the BCCI is tentatively marking a calendar between September 26 and November 7 for the event. BCCI will take a final call on this once the ICC announces the postponement of the T20 World Cup in Australia initially scheduled from October 18 to November 15.
The ICC will discuss the fate of the T20 World Cup in a meeting on July 20 following which the IPL announcement is also likely to come. In fact, BCCI has already communicated to the Indian government about its plan of shifting the IPL to the UAE.
Postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, IPL this year was slated from March 29. Although the BCCI is still interested in hosting the event on home soil, the surging COVID-19 cases in the country have compelled the board to consider an overseas location and UAE being the most viable of them all. The BCCI, in April had postponed the IPL indefinitely due to COVID-19.
The UAE is also equally excited to host the most lucrative cricket league in the world. “We are ready to fully support the IPL if it chooses to come and play in the UAE,” said ECB secretary Mubashshir Usmani. “We will provide all the support concerning the protocol and government permission required to host the IPL. We are waiting for written confirmation from BCCI.”
Even in 2014, the initial matches of the IPL were held in the UAE because of the general elections in India. Another time the league was flown out of the country was in 2009, when the entire matches were played in South Africa for the same reason of coinciding with the elections.
However, this year would be different as the league has been forced to move out by the pandemic, which will warrant additional measures to hold the matches. Franchises will have to go the extra mile to incorporate safety principles in accordance with the host nation.