Indian T20 League 2020 likely to played in the UAE
The 2020 edition of the Indian T20 League is set to be moved out of the country, with reports claiming that the tournament could be entirely played in the UAE, the same venue which hosted the first 20 matches of the 2014 edition and was India's home in Asia Cup 2018.
Last month, tournament chairman Brijesh Patel had said that that the BCCI is waiting for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make an official announcement on the T20 World Cup before going ahead with the comeptition, and had added that they are looking at the September-October window for the tournament; tentatively between September 26 and November 7.
The final decision over the T20 World Cup, scheduled between October 18 and November 15 in Australia, is expected to be taken on July 20.
The BCCI was keen on hosting the tournament in India behind closed doors and in a selected few venues, but as the situation regarding the global pandemic gets worsen, the UAE has been marked as a possible destination.
"We are ready to fully support the Indian T20 League if it chooses to come and play in the UAE," Mubashshir Usmani, ECB secretary, told ESPNcricinfo. "We will provide all the support concerning the protocol and government permission required to host the tournament. We are waiting for written confirmation from BCCI."
While the list of fixtures is yet to be announced, the teams have already started preparations on a personal front; right from hiring the charted planes for the travel to booking hotels for the accommodations.
"I think most teams, if not all, are already looking at hiring chartered planes," an official of one of the teams told IANS.
"You never know if we will have regular flights operating by the end of August and most teams would wish to be in the UAE by the last week of August or at max the first week of September.
“So, in such a scenario, the best way is to hire chartered planes as we will all have around 35-40 people flying to UAE. The number of members obviously increases a bit when you are headed outside and have restrictions in movement in times like these," he said.
The players are expected to be in isolation for two weeks in India before traveling to the UAE, and while they will undergo multiple rounds of testing, the foreign players are expected to fly directly to UAE, rather than India.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Noah Seelam