XtraTime Web Desk: With the growing cases of COVI-19 in the country, the chances are becoming bleaker for the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) to be held in India this season. In spite of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials maintaining that the primary objective will be to see the cash rich league being held in the country, having the tournament abroad cannot be ruled out either. UAE and Sri Lanka are being shortlisted as the possible venues if IPL do not happen in India this year.
Amid this speculation, Dubai Sports City’s Head of Cricket and Events Salman Hanif has said they are keeping the facilities ready for such an eventuality. In an interview to ‘Gulf News’, Hanif said the venue which includes the Dubai International Stadium as well as the ICC Academy, will be ready to host the IPL matches.
“The stadium has nine wickets on the top in case a large number of matches have to be accommodated within a smaller time-frame. We will not be scheduling any matches there to keep the wickets fresh,” said Hanif.
The facilities at the Dubai Sports City are top class and hence arranging the practice facilities for the eight IPL teams will not be a major concern.
According to Hanif, “The practice facilities are never going to be a problem as we have hosted multi-team events before. In the ICC complex alone, there are 38 wickets – spread over the two Oval grounds, the simulated turf wickets as well as the state-of-the-art indoor facilities in case they want to beat the heat.”
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has reiterated on several occasions that he is keen to ensure that the IPL does take place this year even if it has to be taken abroad. The board is awaiting an official confirmation from ICC regarding the postponement of T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in October. It is learnt ICC will announce its official decision on Monday, July 20, 2020. The BCCI is looking at September-October window to stage the IPL.