Cricket is akin to a religion in India as well as the Commonwealth countries around the world. It is an undeniable fact that most Indians favour cricket over other sports and the popularity of IPL only cements this fact. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, IPL 2020 dates were suspended which was scheduled to take place between March 29 and May 17. The Indian governing body, Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) had postponed the cricket league. Though still maintaining that conducting the IPL later remains its topmost priority.
Saurav Ganguly, the board president had said in a statement that BCCI would lose around Rs. 4000 crores were the IPL not to happen this year. The team owners might lose around Rs. 100 crores each. It was a blow to the cricket fans who were eagerly waiting for 13th season of the league.
Why UAE Is The Best Option
Earlier this week, the franchise owners of all IPL teams convened. They agreed in unison that they had no issues with IPL being hosted in another country this year. This however, would not be the first time that the Indian Premier League would not be held in India. Way back in 2009, entire IPL season was conducted in South Africa in record 37 days keeping in mind the General Elections during that time.
In 2014, first 20 matches were played in UAE considering the General Elections during that time. So UAE is not new to hosting IPL and is a better contender than Sri Lanka. The stadiums of Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi have enough infrastructural capabilities to accommodate the players, organisers and broadcasters. The matches in UAE will be held in front of empty stadiums considering the coronavirus situation.
A team owner has quoted that it is not a problem since IPL is made for TV and the gate receipts will not be as much even if the crowds come in. The players will need to arrive a month before the tournaments start to prepare.
BCCI Decision on IPL 2020 Dates
The BCCI Apex Council gather on 17th July 2020 through a virtual meeting to decide the fate of IPL. Apart from the IPL 2020 schedule, they also decided on other issues like the domestic cricket calendar, the future tours of the men’s cricket team, rescheduling of the England home series, appointment of new BCCI staff and many more. BCCI has already proposed a September-November window for conducting the IPL.
What increases the chances of the IPL 2020 happening is the cancellation of the T20 World Cup 2020. Though there has been no formal announcement by the International Cricket Council (ICC), it is only a matter of time as per news reports. In all likeliness, IPL 2020 news will be an interesting development.