- IPL 2020 will take place in UAE
- UAE proud of its association with not just the PL but with India as a whole
- ECB said BCCI made “a very big and an exceptionally important move”
As just an official announcement is yet to happen regarding the Indian Premier League 2020 to formally start mobbing out, both the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) say that they consider the decision made by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) “a very big and an exceptionally important move”.
As the governing council of the IPL got into a phone call on Sunday to discuss the shifting of the 2020’s edition of the tournament, the Vice Chairman (VC) of the ECB, Khalid AL Zarooni was quoted saying, “The IPL aside, our relationship with the Indian government, the Indian public and Indian trade is also an important aspect of our history, one that we are extremely proud of. Such support between our countries can only benefit our relationships in the future”.
With the IPL 2020, the UAE is expecting a huge flow of visitors, presumably over 1400, as the sport is staring at one of its biggest exercises ever taken in its history. The IPL has twice moved out of India in the past, the second time to UAE itself, but pulling off a shift in the middle of a pandemic will be a massive effort.
Al Zarooni said, “All UAE Airports are very highly effective facilities that excel in passenger processing and experience. We are one of the world’s leading benchmarks for travel and safety to the highest standard; we have all confidence that any traffic flows through the UAE airports will be managed at the highest level,”.
Addressing the concerns regarding the deadly virus whose vaccine has not been found yet, the Vice Chairman of ECB who heads the Dubai Sports City said that “The UAE Government has become a leading example for handling the pandemic and we continue to see encouragingly decreasing numbers across the country and increasing recoveries.
Immediate measures were taken at the start of the pandemic which is why we see normality coming back to the UAE earlier than many other countries”.
The Secretary General of ECB, Mubashshir Usmani, who will handle the IPL’s day-to-day detail once it moves to the UAE, said that “Hosting the 2014 edition was an exceptionally exciting and rewarding experience. We gained valuable experience in logistics, movement between Emirates and the overall governance.”
He added “That experience, and through the hosting of other bilateral cricket, we have a sound, solid understanding of what is required, and to whom we need to consult and engage,”.
The ECB, Usmani added, considers this a very big, exceptionally important move and is confident in delivering a successful tournament. At the top of their mind, he adds, is to ensure that there is enough to support the efforts of health authorities and ensure a safe location while delivering a successful tournament.
Usmani said, “The grounds-staff and the executive teams at all three stadia have been working tirelessly on maintenance even before we presented our proposal to the BCCI (in April). Infrastructure-wise, UAE boasts some of the best facilities. We have three grounds – Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah — where Abu Dhabi also has two adjoining academy grounds.”
He added that “All three facilities have access to practice grounds at Dubai’s ICC Academy, the world’s biggest practice facility which includes 38 wickets and a few simulated turfs. There are eight teams, so we don’t see any issues with ensuring proper practice sessions,”.
He also said that “UAE Authorities will provide the ECB with guidelines in a time-relevant and timely manner to ensure player and other stakeholder safety” while the BCCI and its stakeholders are working on their bio-secure bubbles and making all the necessary arrangement for IPL 2020.