BCCI is planning to host IPL 2020 in UAE

The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have started doing their homework and are planning to hire chartered planes and book hotels for their players in UAE. They want players to undergo isolation period in India.

Key Highlights

  • IPL franchises have started their preparations for the 13th edition of the league
  • With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing in the country, the tournament is all but set to be moved to UAE
  • UAE had hosted the first 20 matches of IPL 2014

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to announce the fixtures of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 but the franchises have started their own preparations. From planning to hire chartered planes to ferry the players to the UAE to deciding the hotels in which the players will live, the franchises have started doing their homework.

Given the present situation in India, IPL 2020 is set to move out of the country and the BCCI is also open to taking the tournament overseas for the third time. UAE had hosted the first 20 matches of IPL 2014 and was India’s home in Asia Cup 2018.

News agency IANS spoke to officials of a few IPL franchises, who opened up on their preparations regarding the league. One of the officials revealed that most teams are looking to hire chartered planes to fly players and staff members to UAE.

“I think most teams, if not all, are already looking at hiring chartered planes. You never know if we will have regular flights operating by the end of August and most teams would wish to be in the UAE by the last week of August or at max the first week of September. 

“So, in such a scenario, the best way is to hire chartered planes as we will all have around 35-40 people flying to UAE. The number of members obviously increases a bit when you are headed outside and have restrictions in movement in times like these,” he said.

The IPL franchises also want their players to undergo the isolation period in India instead of UAE. Usually, a person has to be in self-isolation for two weeks and the same could be the case here. The players are expected to stay in two-week isolation before flying to UAE. Of course, they will have to undergo multiple rounds of testing. The franchises want foreign players to join the team directly in UAE. 

“We are looking at having the boys come together in India. Go through a period of spending time in a bio-secure environment and then get our tests done and head to UAE. The reason behind that is we are all staying at home. So, if one of us is asymptomatic, we have the risk of infecting others. That is why it is better to go through a couple of weeks of isolation and testing here in the country before heading out,” an official said.

BCCI did conduct its apex council meeting on Friday but decided against announcing anything on IPL. This is primarily due to ICC, which is yet to take a call on the future of the T20 World Cup.

Arun Dhumal, BCCI’s treasurer, has already said that the board won’t ask ICC to delay T20 World Cup, which takes place in October-November. BCCI is also looking at the same window to stage IPL.

As mentioned, UAE is now confirmed to stage the league. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was the first board to come up with a proposal but BCCI isn’t interested in moving the league there.

Prior to IPL, the centrally-contracted players will take part in the training camp. They will need at least five to six weeks to be match-fit. The camp is likely to take place once BCCI announces the fixtures of IPL 2020.