IPL 2020: BCCI treasurer confirms receiving offer to host IPL 13 in UAE

The league's 13th edition remains suspended indefinitely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

IPL 2020 was due to start on March 29 | GettyEmirates Cricket Board (ECB) in UAE has offered to play host to the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which remains indefinitely suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal confirmed.  

In 2014, UAE hosted the first 20 games of the IPL in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah after the one-third of the tournament's league phase had to be shifted to the Middle-East because of the general elections in India. 

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"The UAE has offered to host the IPL if we want them to," said Dhumal as per a report in the Hindustan Times. "But right now when there is no international travel, there is no question of taking a call on that."

The BCCI, of course, can't make a final decision on the matter at this stage, given the huge uncertainty around cricket's resumption date. 

"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," stressed the treasurer. 

Unlike India, where there are many red zones, UAE and Sri Lanka, another country that has offered to host the IPL, have been significantly less affected by the deadly outbreak. 

It is understood, taking IPL abroad has been informally discussed amid BCCI and IPL franchises as a contingency plan. Franchises, in any case, are set to lose out on revenue from gate receipts considering playing in empty stadiums has become the safest bet. And UAE, Sri Lanka being so geographically close, even the TV timings wouldn't be much of an issue. 

IPL played solely for the television and streaming audiences will help the BCCI in protecting the broadcast and title rights deals it had signed. 

The IPL, being a flourishing brand, makes it attractive for all stakeholders. Unsurprisingly, cricket boards are willing to play host to the cash-rich T20 event. In 2009, when Cricket South Africa (CSA) hosted the entire tournament, the governing body there made a turnover of $ 11.4 million. For UAE, given the lesser number of games, the income wasn't as big, but it certainly boosted the profile of venues across the gulf. 

In Sri Lanka, the SLC can expect its financial coffers to be filled substantially more than India's scheduled limited-overs visit to the island nation in July would if indeed BCCI goes down that path.

"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.

(Inputs from HT)


By Kashish Chadha - 10 May, 2020

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