Aditya Verma, the original petitioner in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, has urged BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to conduct this year’s IPL in India and not in UAE. The tournament is all but confirmed to move out of the country due to the alarming coronavirus situation. The coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate in India which prompted the BCCI to explore other venues before they finalised on UAE.
The BCCI is still awaiting the government’s approval to conduct the tournament in the UAE. The Indian cricket board is likely to get the green light from the government. Verma, however, wants the BCCI to prefer India as the venue for this year’s tournament despite the rising cases. He backed his point by saying that just like India, UAE is “also not safe” from the pandemic.
“The Dubai Rugby Sevens is a big event in the UAE and they had to postpone it when it was supposed to be held in November. So how can we take IPL to UAE. I have written to Dada (Ganguly) and requested him to have IPL in India,” Verma told PTI.
India is one of the worst affected countries by the pandemic. The active case count is more than five lakh besides over 36,000 fatalities. But Verma believes conducting the IPL in India will be easier. He isisted that creating a bio-bubble in a city like Mumbai will be far more easier than having three separate zones in three UAE cities.
“They can at least try their best to do it in Mumbai,” Verma suggested.
Verma had another suggestion for the BCCI to conduct the IPL in India. When told that foreign players will be wary of travelling to India compared to Dubai where the case count is less than a lakh, he asked the BCCI to make the IPL a league full of Indian players.
“We have 60 plus foreigners. If they are not willing to come, we can replace them with Indian players,” the secretary of the unsanctioned Cricket Association of Bihar said.
“An IPL in India would help to uplift the mood of the common public which is already stressed by COVID-19. If we can hold a successful IPL in India in these times, it will be a huge achievement,” he concluded.
Letter of acceptance sent by BCCI:
Last month, IPL Governing Council Chairman Brijesh Patel had announced that the BCCI has sent the acceptance letter to the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB). The thirteenth edition of the tournament is set to get underway on September 19 with the final likely to be played on November 8.
“Yes, we have sent the acceptance letter to the ECB and both the boards will be working together from now on to stage the tournament,” Khaleej Times quoted Patel as saying.