IPL 2020: UAE offer to host the tournament
The Emirates Cricket Board has offered to host the 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE. The proposal comes after Sri Lanka Cricket Board expressed interest in hosting India's cash-rich league. Notably, India staged the first half of 2014 IPL in UAE as the dates clashed with general elections. However, it is understood that India will deny the call this time.
"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.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) postponed the impending IPL season indefinitely in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. In a recent statement, the cricket board revealed the tournament will remain suspended until further notice. Although IPL was earlier deferred from the original start of March 29 to April 15, the rising number of COVID-19 cases led to suspension.
The first half of IPL 2014 was held in UAE from April 16 to 30. Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Dubai International Cricket Stadium, together hosted a total number of 20 matches. Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned champions later.
A day after suspension, Sri Lanka offered to host the tournament. Reportedly, the Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) had written to BCCI, showing desire to hold the IPL. SLC president Shammi Silva quoted the example of second IPL edition, which was shifted to South Africa, owing to Lok Sabha elections. It commenced on April 18 and was wrapped up on May 24.
As per some sources, BCCI may look for a window later in the year to stage the tournament. Nonetheless, Dhumal put an end to speculations regarding the IPL. "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," he concluded.