Even though planning and preparation to conduct the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE from September 19 to November 8 is in accelerated mode, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to receive final clearance from the central government here to shift the tournament to the Middle East.
However, speaking to IANS, a BCCI official close to the matter said the Sports Ministry has already given the go-ahead signal and the board is very much optimistic of the External Affairs Ministry and the Home Ministry also giving their approval.
The official said the board has been communicating regularly with the government authorities regarding IPL 2020 and will be following all their rules and regulations while moving the league outside India amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The BCCI has received clearance from the Sports Ministry and we are hopeful of a positive response from the other departments quite soon as well," the official said.
"There have been some noises from certain quarters as they want to see the board fail in successfully conducting the IPL this year, but they are basically only trying to create confusion among the cricket loving people in the country."
"Let me assure you that the BCCI is committed towards organising a safe and clean IPL and are confident that it will give the necessary boost to the sports sector in these times," the official added.
"We are also extremely grateful to the government for their support and understanding. In fact, they have been guiding us right through this period and we would also want to thank Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju."
Just like the board, IPL franchises are hopeful of everything going smoothly in the crucial coming weeks as well. One of the officials from a franchise said the IPL 2020 will boost people's morale that has been disturbed by these troublesome times.
"See, you will always have people around you who will look at the negatives. But what you cannot forget is the kind of support the IPL gives the Indian domestic structure. We are confident that the BCCI will get the required permission to take the tournament to UAE because at the end of the day we all want the smiles to return on the faces of the Indian people," the franchise official said.
"Many are waiting to see the likes of M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma take the field after so many months. All protocols will be followed and the safety of the players will be a priority."
(Inputs from IANS)