IPL Trophy Photograph:( PTI )
After Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the Emirates Cricket Board has offered to host the 13th edition of the IPL in the United Arab Emirates
With the fate of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 hanging in balance, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hasn’t taken any call on the future of the cash-rich tournament besides postponing it indefinitely amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdown and travel restrictions in place, the Indian board has been trying to find an alternate solution in a bid to conduct IPL 2020 later in the year.
However, given the popularity of IPL, there aren’t any dearth of suitors as after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the Emirates Cricket Board has offered to host the 13th edition of the IPL in the United Arab Emirates. Interestingly, UAE had hosted 20 matches of IPL 2014 to avoid collision of dates with general elections in India. However, the BCCI is continuing to wait for things to clear up in India before taking a call, as per a report in a leading daily.
“The UAE has offered to host the IPL if we want them to. But right now when there is no international travel, there is no question of taking a call on that,” said BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal as per the report.
Meanwhile, the BCCI is still looking to host the IPL in India should the COVID-19 pandemic gets contained. The question remains, should the coronavirus curve doesn’t flatten in coming weeks or months, would BCCI be open to moving IPL 2020 to a foreign land?
“The health and security of players and all participants is our priority. At the moment, the entire world travel has come to a standstill, so there is nothing we can decide at this stage,” Dhumal said.
With Sri Lanka and UAE, TV timings won’t be an issue. But if it is hosted in India, the matches, in all likelihood, will be played behind closed doors with franchise losing out revenue from gate receipts. An IPL edition just for TV will at least protect the broadcast and title right deals of the BCCI. Interestingly, when the IPL was hosted by Cricket South Africa (CSA), the board made a turnover of $11.4 million.
“We have discussed amongst our committee members the proposal to host the IPL in Sri Lanka. We are in lockdown till May 11. Any further decision will be taken after that,” said SLC secretary Mohan de Silva.