UAE to host IPL 2020, confirms Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel

Indian Premier League 2020 will be staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), confirmed Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel.

Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel on Monday confirmed that the 13th edition of the premier T20 tournament will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A full-fledged IPL consisting of 60 matches is on the cards and the league is expected to be completed inside 44 days between September 26 to November 08 – a window already zeroed in by the BCCI.

While the official dates are yet to be decided, BCCI wants to conclude the tournament early in November to ensure the Indian players can leave on time for their Test series against Australia which gets underway from December 03. As per ESPN Cricinfo, Patel confirmed that the 13th edition of IPL will be staged in the UAE and that BCCI was waiting for ICC’s final call on the fate of the T20 World Cup this year.

ICC on Monday officially postponed the T20 World Cup 2002 which was scheduled to take place in Australia, paving the way for BCCI to utilise the window for IPL. Patel said the BCCI has sought permission from the Indian government to conduct the tournament in the UAE and is likely to get a nod soon. An official announcement will be made after the next IPL Governing Council meeting later this week.

“We were waiting for the ICC to officially announce [the postponement]. We have applied [for permission] with the Indian government. Should get it,” Patel told ESPNcricinfo.

When asked if IPL 2020 will be played behind closed doors, Patel said the decision “depends on the UAE government”. Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi will be hosting the matches. In 2014, the first phase of IPL, consisting of 20 matches was played in the UAE. 

It was almost inevitable for BCCI to shift the tournament outside India amid the continuous rise in COVID-19 cases in the country. India has so far recorded more than eleven lakh cases of the novel coronavirus which raised doubts over the possibility of conducting IPL 2020 in the country.

As per ESPN Cricinfo, the eight franchises are yet to be informed about the development. The tournament was scheduled to start from March 29 this year but was postponed after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19. The league was postponed indefinitely after the lockdown was extended in April.

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