The BCCI had to wait patiently for a number of weeks to get official confirmation from the ICC and Cricket Australia regarding the cancelation of the T20 World Cup which was scheduled to take place in Australia. The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant travel restrictions being imposed down under, making it impossible to proceed with a global T20 tournament.
UAE Will Host IPL Extravaganza
The cancellation of the T20 World Cup has opened a cricketing window for the BCCI to stage the 2020 IPL which was scheduled to take place in March 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID. The BCCI will not be able to host the IPL in India as India continues to battle and recover from the impact of the coronavirus.
There have been multiple offers in the past from the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Sri Lanka who have made it clear to the BCCI that they would be more than happy to host the IPL extravaganza. There were rumours floating around for the last two weeks that the UAE would be the frontrunner and the BCCI has finally confirmed that the IPL will head to the UAE in September.
The UAE will host the 2020 IPL from September 19 till November 8. This 51 day window will allow the BCCI to run a full IPL which is very important when it comes to generating revenues that is close to $500 million.
The UAE has prior experience of working with the BCCI to host the IPL back in 2014. The IPL scheduled only a portion of the 2014 IPL season due to elections being held back in India. The UAE will now get an opportunity to host the entire tournament and set itself up as a backup option in the future with a successful showing.
Players Happy With IPL Rescheduling
There were initial reports that the IPL will start only on September 26 but the BCCI had to schedule things a week earlier, keeping in mind that India will travel to Australia in November and be subjected to a 14 day quarantine period.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly tried to get around the 14 day quarantine period by sending out feelers to see if Australia could make an exception and reduce the quarantine period.
Since the quarantine period was non-negotiable, the IPL schedule had to be rearranged. Most of the IPL players are expected to arrive atleast two weeks in advance to begin preparations in the UAE. There are reports that 35 Indian players will arrive a month early and start training because they have had absolutely no training for the last 4 months in India.
The UAE is happy to welcome the Indian team as well as international cricketers in advance and have made all of their practice facilities available to them. The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) will make arrangements in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai to host IPL games on a daily basis during this period.
International and Indian players are happy to see that the BCCI has managed to reschedule the 2020 IPL as all of the players are set to have a big payday with the IPL. The cancellation of the T20 World Cup to a major extent can be overlooked because most of the players are keener on playing the IPL instead of the T20 World Cup as there is more to gain financially from the IPL than the T20 World Cup.
NZ and South Africa Grant NOCs
Since the T20 World Cup is cancelled, players don’t have any commitment towards their country and can play in the IPL provided they get a no objection certification (NOC) from their respective cricketing boards.
New Zealand and South Africa have wasted no time in providing their players with NOCs and a number of other countries including Australia and England are expected to follow suit. The IPL governing committee and its team will now have to work tirelessly in the next 30 days to pull off this IPL extravaganza in a foreign location.