The buzz around the Indian Premier League 2020 is getting louder. According to a recent report, the 13th edition of the cash-rich league is all set to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A report in the Outlook stated that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking at the September-November window to schedule the IPL 2020 and the franchise owners have also given the board a thumbs up for hosting the league overseas.
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However, an official announcement from the Indian cricket board is still awaited. The Outlook report also claimed that the T20 World Cup, which is also scheduled to take place at the same time in Australia, is going to be cancelled by the International Cricket Council soon. Although the ICC is yet to make a formal announcement on the subject, Cricket Australia's chairman had said that hosting the T20 World Cup in Australia this year is unrealistic. (Also Read | Don't want year 2020 to finish without an IPL, says Sourav Ganguly)
"While it hasn't been formally called off this year, or postponed, trying to get 16 countries into Australia in the current world, where most countries are still going through COVID spiking, I think it's unrealistic, or it's going to be very, very difficult," Earl Eddings said.
The BCCI is staring at a massive loss of INR 4,000 crore if the cash-rich league gets cancelled.
"We will have to examine our financial situation, see how much money we have and take a call. Not hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) will cause losses to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore which is huge. If the IPL takes place, we won't have to go in for pay cuts. We'll manage things," Ganguly told mid-day. (READ HERE)
The UAE has earlier hosted the first phase of IPL 2014 due to the Lok Sabha elections clashing with the tournament in India.
Keeping in mind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament is going to be played behind closed doors in UAE too. "That's not a problem. IPL is more made for TV and the gate receipts will not be as much even if the crowds come in," a team owner told the Outlook.
The conditions in the UAE are pretty similar to that of India's and the distance between the stadiums in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi is not too far, which is also an important factor for the BCCI.
Meanwhile, the cricket officials in the UAE are optimistic about hosting the mega league.
"The stadium has nine wickets on the top in case a large number of matches have to be accommodated within a smaller time-frame. We will not be scheduling any matches there to keep the wickets fresh," Salman Hanif, Head of Cricket & Events of Dubai Sports City, told Gulf News.