The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has made an offer to the BCCI to host this year’s edition of the IPL in the United Arab Emirates, should India be unable to do so.
The 13th edition of the flagship T20 competition was due to start on 29 March but has since been postponed by the BCCI with no indication yet provided if and when it will take place this year.
The Covid-19 pandemic had brought an abrupt end to cricket worldwide, which also saw the Proteas return home early from their tour of India in March.
Despite the Indian government easing restrictions on the country’s lockdown in recent weeks, it remains unclear whether or not the BCCI will be able to host the event at all this year.
This has led to the ECB submitting their interest with the board’s general secretary Mubashshir Usmani confirming, according to Gulf News, that the UAE is more than ready and safe enough to stage the IPL.
‘We have a proven record of being hosts as a neutral venue for various bilateral and multi-nation cricket activities in the past. Our state-of-the-art venues and facilities make the Emirates a desired place for hosting all types of cricket,’ read Usmani’s comments in the report.
In 2014 the UAE hosted the first 20 matches of the IPL due to general elections that were taking place in India. It was mainly the same reason why the 2009 edition was held in South Africa as a result.
The Emirates governing body also made a similar proposal to the English Cricket Board recently to host their summer of cricket in the UAE.
‘We have come forward and offered our venues to both England and India. In the past, Emirates Cricket Board has successfully hosted IPL matches in UAE. We have also hosted matches involving England team on multiple occasions previously. If our offer is taken up by either of the Boards, then we will be pleased to facilitate hosting of their matches,’ added Usmani.
The ICC is set to meet in Dubai this coming week to discuss whether or not the T20 World Cup in Australia will still go ahead as planned at the end of the year. Should the event be postponed then it could open a sizeable timeframe for the IPL to take place, whether that is in India or in the UAE.