IPL 2020: UAE all set to host IPL, but only after the official request from BCCI
Emirates Cricket Board said while they have not got any official communique from the BCCI, they are all set to host the IPL 2020 if the tournament really comes their way. "As you know, we have also heard that the IPL 2020 is heading the UAE way. But we still have not received any official communication from the BCCI. We understand that the Indian cricket board has approached their government to shift the IPL to UAE and we will have to wait for that (India Government) response. We also heard that the IPL Governing Council is to meet sometime next week, so we are waiting," an ECB official told MyKhel. He said the Emirates Cricket Board is pretty ready to handle the responsibility if IPL 2020 comes their way. "We know it is a big tournament but we are ready to handle the responsibility. In fact, we have had the experience of staging the IPL in the past (in 2014), even if a part of it, so we know what to expect in terms of teams' logistics and other cricketing needs," he said. The opening ceremony and the first leg of the IPL 2014 were staged in the UAE because of the Indian general election. The IPL 2009 too was staged away from home in South Africa because of the general elections. Earlier, Mubashshir Usmani, Secretary General of Emirates Cricket Board, had said UAE will "extend full cooperation to BCCI if they want to shift the IPL 2020 to UAE." Salman Hanif, Head of Cricket and Events of Dubai Sports City, the facility that houses the Dubai International Stadium and the ICC Academy, told MyKhel that if the IPL gets shifted to the UAE they are ready to host the event and all the infrastructure are already in place. UAE have three cricketing venues in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. "We have hosted multi-team events in the past here. We have more than 30 pitches, including the practice facilities, across two Ovals. And our indoor training stadium offers world class facilities to cricketers including accommodation," said Hanif. There were also reports that Indian cricketers' national camp too could be shifted to UAE if the IPL 2020 gets moved to that country. "It would not be a problem. We have enough facilities for all players and coaching staff around all the venues. We are treating it as an opportunity to host some high-quality cricket matches in UAE. Other aspects like allowing spectators into the stadium etc will be decided once the BCCI takes an official stand on it," the Emirates Board official said.