MUMBAI: The decks to host the IPL in the UAE have been cleared from the BCCI’s side. On Monday, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed in a release that they have received the official ‘Letter of Intent‘ from the BCCI to host the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“We have received the (official) letter and now wait on the decision from the Indian Government which will ink the final deal,” said Mubashshir Usmani, Emirates Cricket Board Secretary General. While the ECB is still waiting for a notice from the BCCI that the Indian government has approved to move the IPL from India to the UAE, Usmani said that “both the Boards have fully mobilised and have instigated discussions with the relevant authorities, including their respective internal working committees, in preparation of hosting the tournament, which is slated to kick off on September 19, with the final proposed for November 8, in a safe, protected environment.”
“There are many factors which influence the operations and logistics of hosting what is the world’s most exciting, popular and lucrative tournament,” said Usmani.
“This is a massive movement of people and equipment and we now need to bring in the experts to discuss all aspects of UAE hosting the IPL. This includes the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah Sports Councils, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah Tourism Bodies and the respective Government entities – such as the Police Forces and the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, all who have had strong, proven experience in such activities and we will work together to ascertain the best practices to support and deliver on a successful edition,” he explained.
Having hosted the first part of the 2014 edition of the IPL has given UAE enough experience to host the 2020 edition, Usmani felt. “We have a sound, solid understanding of what is required, and to whom we need to consult and engage with from this early stage through to close of the tournament,” he said. He assured that UAE had the required cricketing infrastructure to host a tournament of the magnitude of the IPL. “UAE boasts some of the best practice facilities and stadia in the world across three-Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah) which we are confident will be more than adequate to support the 8-team tournament,” he said.
Usmani stressed that the Covid-19 situation was well under control in the UAE. “Firstly, we are extremely pleased with how the UAE Government responded to the virus, which was as early as February and we continue to see encouraging numbers across the country – in decreasing cases and increasing recoveries.” “Secondly, we will fully support any requirements stipulated by the relevant Health Authorities in regards to CoVid-19 safety measures and management,” he said.
“Ultimately, as owners of the IPL the BCCI will lay-out their requirements to the Host nation of which Emirates Cricket continues to reiterate their unwavering support and assistance at every step of the process,” assured Usmani.