The BCCI has been waiting patiently for the ICC and Cricket Australia to confirm whether the T20 World Cup will take place in Australia in October. Since the 2020 IPL was postponed due to the corona virus pandemic, the BCCI has been looking for a potential window for the IPL to take place before the end of 2020 and the T20 World Cup cancellation would give them a perfect window of opportunity.
T20 World Cup Unofficially Cancelled
Just when it looked like Australia was in the process of getting things under control, the state of Victoria had to go back into a 6-week lockdown mode due to another outbreak of COVID. This news does not favour the chances of the T20 World Cup taking place as there are too many hurdles to address in too short a time. The BCCI certainly thinks so which is why they are now prepared to host the 2020 IPL from September to November.
It looks like it is just a matter of time before the ICC and Cricket Australia confirm the cancellation of the T20 World Cup.
Asia Cup Officially Cancelled
While we wait for official confirmation of the T20 World Cup cancellation, it is clear that the Asia Cup is cancelled. The Asia Cup was scheduled to take place in September but the BCCI was keen to scrap the tournament and get the IPL underway.
Given the financial clout that the BCCI has, all of the other Asian countries except Pakistan were okay with the cancellation of the Asia Cup. The BCCI stands to lose nearly 4 thousand crore rupees if the IPL does not take place this year.
The players will not be upset with the cancellation of the T20 World Cup or the Asia Cup as they know they will make a lot more money if they play in a full edition of the IPL.
2020 IPL Will Take Place In The UAE
The BCCI has been looking at alternative venues and has received proposals from South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to host the IPL.
The BCCI has decided to go with the UAE who will now play host to the 2020 IPL. As many as three venues are expected to be used for the IPL and these include Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Reports suggest that the 2020 IPL will start on September 26 and finish on November 8.
All IPL games will take place in front of empty seats as the IPL governing body will not put the players or the fans at risk. While the IPL will lose out on the gate for each match, they will be okay to absorb the loss and the bulk of the revenue is made from television.
This is not the first time that the UAE will be playing host to the IPL as the first leg of the 2014 IPL took place in the UAE. This time around, the entire 2020 IPL will be held in the UAE.
Indian Players Will Arrive Early
Indian cricketers have been confined to their homes for over 3 months as India continues to battle COVID-19. It looks highly unlikely that they will be able to have a proper training camp in India anytime soon.
The BCCI has worked out arrangements with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) that will allow Indian players to arrive nearly a month before the 2020 IPL starts. They will have full access to all training facilities in the UAE and go through a month long camp. A total of 35 Indian players are expected to show up to this training camp.
Overseas players will join the camp later as countries like England and the West Indies are currently playing international cricket and will be match ready. IPL franchises have a lot of work to do in the lead up to the tournament as they will have to take care of travel arrangements, hotel arrangements and player safety.
UAE Confident Of Hosting Successful IPL
Abu Dhabi welcomed the UFC – which is the number one MMA promotion in the world in July and helped them pull off three back to back fight cards in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The IPL is a much bigger tournament but the UAE is confident of hosting a successful IPL because has the infrastructure and resources to pull of this month and a half long mega event. The biggest concern for players will not be logistics or safety but being able to play in super-hot conditions. We will have to wait for a schedule of matches to be released.