The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is waiting for the formal nod from the Indian government to “ink the final deal” with the BCCI, after receiving an official letter of intent from the Indian board for hosting the 2020 edition of the IPL.
“Should get it [the permission],” as the IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel also told ESPNcricinfo recently, the two boards have “fully mobilised and have instigated discussions with the relevant authorities, including their respective internal working-committees” to host the tournament between September 19 and November 10, Mubashshir Usmani, ECB secretary-general, said in a statement on Monday.
“There are many factors which influence the operations and logistics of hosting what is the world’s most exciting, popular and lucrative [cricket] tournament. 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,” Usmani said. “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.”
It’s not a completely new experience for the ECB, as the first 20 games of the 2014 edition were held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah because of the Indian general elections. This time, of course, the presence of Covid-19 has added a different dimension to the organisation.
“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,” Usmani said. “Secondly, we will fully support any requirements stipulated by the relevant Health Authorities in regards to Covid-19 safety measures and management.
“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. 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 eight-team tournament.”