The Emirates Cricket Board has confirmed that it had expressed interest in hosting the IPL this year if India decides to shift the cash-rich T20 tournament out of the country in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 13th IPL was scheduled to start in late March but it was postponed indefinitely due to the global health crisis. There is speculation that the BCCI is looking for an October window to hold the event in case the T20 World Cup in Australia is not held this year.
A report in the ‘Gulf News’ said that the UAE Cricket Board has made an offer to the BCCI that it can host the IPL.
“In the past, Emirates Cricket Board has successfully hosted IPL matches in UAE. We have a proven record of being hosts as a neutral venue for various bilateral and multi-nation cricket activities in the past,” its general secretary Mubashshir Usmani was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
“Our state-of-the-art venues and facilities make the Emirates a desired place for hosting all types of cricket.”
Usmani said the Emirates Cricket Baord had, in fact, offered their venues to the England and Wales Cricket Board to complete the English season here as well.
“We have come forward and offered our venues to both England and India. We have also hosted matches involving England team on multiple occasions previously. If our offer is taken up by either of the Boards, then we will be pleased to facilitate hosting of their matches,” he said.
Sri Lanka Cricket is the other Board which has expressed interest to host the IPL if India decides to hold the tournament abroad.
A clearer picture about the window for IPL may emerge if the ICC takes a decision on the fate of this year’s T20 World Cup during its board meeting through video conference on June 10.