IPL confirms Sept 19 start in UAE

Updated 04 Aug 2020

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The spread of Covid-19 in India has forced organisers to move IPL abroad. — AFP/File
The spread of Covid-19 in India has forced organisers to move IPL abroad. — AFP/File

NEW DELHI: The Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to be staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Sept 19 to Nov 10, subject to government approval.

The IPL’s governing council confirmed the proposed dates and venues during a video conference on Sunday.

“Taking note of the prevailing Covid-19 situation in India, the IPL governing council decided to stage the tournament in the UAE and the matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi subject to necessary clearances from the government of India,” Jay Shah, honorary secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said in a statement.

The lucrative annual Twenty20 tournament had originally been scheduled to start March 29 before it was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The spread of Covid-19 forced organisers to move the competition abroad. A window to hold the tournament opened when the International Cricket Council postponed the men’s Twenty20 World Cup, which had been scheduled to be staged in Australia in October and November.

International cricket was suspended in March because of the pandemic and resumed last month with England hosting the West Indies in a three-Test series contested under strict bio-security restrictions.

The IPL council said it discussed procedures for delivering a bio-secure environment for safe and successful conduct and was still working on details.The 2009 edition of the franchise-based competition coincided with India’s elections and was held in South Africa.

The UAE hosted the early matches of the tournament five years later for the same reason.

During the playoff week of the 53-day tournament, the IPL governing council decided on Sunday, the Women’s T20 Challenge will take place in UAE featuring four matches among three teams.

“A meeting with the franchises will be called shortly,” Shah added.

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2020