Not only that, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has almost finalised the dates for IPL-13 as well, with the tournament set to run between September 26 and November 6th in the UAE.
The detailed scheduled of this year’s IPL will be announced in the first week of August. As reported earlier, all Indian cricketers taking part in the IPL will move to UAE for a five-week training camp from the third week of August to the first week of September.
Once the training camp is over, the IPL franchises will receive their respective cricketers and will be free to organise training camps of their own ahead of the IPL-13 opener.
“It’s the only likely option for the BCCI now. It is 80 per cent certain that this will be the schedule. BCCI is getting all the approvals in place,” sources close to the development informed Sportskeeda.
A part of the IPL was held in UAE in 2014
The BCCI is expected to give the go-ahead to this plan sometime later on Friday (June 17) when the Apex Council meet over video-conferencing. This will be the second time IPL will touching UAE shores after 2014, when Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah hosted the first-half of the IPL due to general elections in India.
The Indian board have selected Dubai over Sri Lanka or New Zealand because the Emirates city is also a major airlines hub. Flights from all across the globe pass through Dubai, so it will be easy for the BCCI to ferry players to Dubai – whether it’s from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or West Indies.
Former India paceman Atul Wassan had also confirmed to Sportskeeda’s Shanivi Sadana in May that IPL may be held in Dubai based on his conversations with Indian skipper Virat Kohli and other cricketers.
“Now people say that… In fact, I was talking to some of the players… Virat also… that there might be a chance and we might have the IPL in some kind of format in Dubai, in September. So I think that’s where the focus is,” Atul Wassan had told Sportskeeda.
Meanwhile, Dubai Sports City’s Head of Cricket and Events Salman Hanif also confirmed to Gulf News that they are keeping their facilities ready to welcome the IPL.
Salman Hanif added that Dubai Sports City, which includes both the Dubai International Stadium and the ICC Academy, are ready to host the IPL again.
“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 was quoted as saying by Gulf News.
The UAE has recorded more than 50,000 cases and over 300 deaths because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Indian cricketers have been confined to their homes since March due to a national lockdown.
“The practice facilities are never going to be a problem as we have hosted multi-team events before. In the ICC complex alone, there are 38 wickets - spread over the two Oval grounds, the simulated turf wickets as well as the state-of-the-art indoor facilities in case they want to beat the heat,” Salman Hanif added.