BCCI CEO wants IPL 2021 in UAE; franchises in agreement over the tried and tested option- Reports

England and UAE are in running to host the remainder of the IPL 2021 in Sept-Oct window.

UAE is seen as the more viable option given the weather and previous experience of hosting the tournamentBCCI's interim CEO Hemang Amin, also the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has planned two different schedules for the remainder of the IPL 2021 which has 31 matches remaining.

The BCCI is determined to complete the IPL 2021 in between September and October this year before the T20 World Cup happens.

Amin has drafted one schedule keeping the United Kingdom (UK) in mind, and another keeping the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in mind. It will be the BCCI's call to decide on where the IPL must relocate - a call that is likely to be taken by the time the Board's Special General Meeting (SGM) is held on May 29.

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Amin was the one who pulled off a smooth IPL 2020 which was entirely played in the UAE, for which he was lauded by all the stakeholders in the IPL, and by the global cricket fraternity, was of opinion that the IPL 2021 should also have been held in UAE as well, played across three cities.

Now TOI understands the interim CEO has two schedules ready as choices to present in the run-up to the SGM and has given some logical reasoning for the remainder of IPL 2021 to be held in UAE.

1. Weather- Shifting to the UK will be a risky proposition because starting mid-September, the possibility of monsoon returning post the English summer is reasonably higher. By October, rain is incessant and that will also mean relatively colder weather.

Will the BCCI - having paid hosting fees to the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to conduct the IPL there - take the risk of matches getting washed away and once again receive flak? In contrast, the weather in UAE is hot in September but begins to cool down by the end of the month, as the IPL witnessed first-hand last year.

Though IPL in England is a novel idea, the weather and everything is a big gamble2. Costs- Hosting the tournament in the UK will mean relatively higher costs - spending in Pounds, vis-à-vis spending in Dirhams (UAE). While the BCCI can ask franchises to make up for the costs by keeping the gate money - because crowds will be allowed at grounds in England - England will still be a costlier proposition.

3. Experience- UAE is a tried and tested venue, with a quarter of the IPL matches being hosted there in 2014 and the entire edition in 2020. The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), which laid down a red carpet for the BCCI to come and play in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, is once again requesting they be allowed to do so.

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Thanks to hosting the IPL 2020, the cricket board, venues, and hotels are well versed with the bio-bubble protocols and a central bio-bubble can be easily created as all the three venues are easily accessible by bus, with no need of flying to any of the venues.

Some though see the UK as a "suitable option too", given the novelty factor - IPL has only been conducted in South Africa and UAE, outside of India. There's a certain belief the UK could bring a certain newness to proceedings.

While they take the coming week to make the final decision, those tracking these developments say, "one way or the other, BCCI should take a decision and work towards it. Things should not get stuck in 'decision-making paralysis' and be left for the last moment. The sooner a call is taken, the better the preparations".

(Times of India inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 21 May, 2021

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