BCCI or the Board of Control for Cricket in India has taken the decision to hold the 2020’s Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates between September and November. The 13th edition of the league has been postponed several times due to the sudden outbreak of the global pandemic, COVID-19.
BCCI waits for the Centre’s green signal
BCCI was hopeful in the beginning that despite the delay, it will be possible to hold the matches in India in the months of June or July. But, the current situation in India makes it clear that conducting IPL will not be possible this year. Hence, after considering multiple aspects and consulting with several stakeholders, BCCI has come up with a solution.
Earlier, the BCCI proposed the dates between September 26 and November 8, but later planned to commence the matches a week in advance. This will allow the BCCI to lessen the number of matches played in the afternoon. With the addition of another week, only weekends will have double-headers.
A brief history of the Indian Premier League:
The Indian Premier League is a Twenty20 cricket league introduced by India and contested in the months of March-April, or April-May. The BCCI founded it in 2008. It consists of eight teams that represent eight Indian cities, with Mumbai Indians being the one to win the trophy four times. Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kinds, and Royal Challengers Bangalore are the other seven teams.
It is the world’s most attended cricket tournament and became the pioneering sporting event of the world that was live on YouTube. The number of seasons so far has been twelve. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in suspension of the 2020 season. But, now there is a ray of hope that the game will be played in the UAE.
Prior instances of the IPL being held in other countries
If the Board of Control for Cricket in India manages to secure the approval of the Central Government, this is going to be the second time for the UAE hosting the popular league. Back in 2014, the initial 20 matches out of 60 games of the IPL were played in the United Arab Emirates. This happened as the Lok Sabha Elections took place in India at that time. So, to avoid clashes in schedules, the BCCI moved the IPL to the UAE. Once again, the Board shifted the IPL overseas in 2009 with South Africa being the host country. The reason for that shift was the same- the Lok Sabha Elections.
The silver lining
While this year, there was no such clash with the election dates, the pandemic has left BCCI with little choice. The game of IPL is extremely interesting and popular worldwide with fans from all corners of the world. Cancellation of the game altogether would have been heartbreaking for the fans that wait for it the whole year. People deserve this respite from the mundane reality and so, let us hope that the Central Government approves of BCCI’s proposal.