As UAE gear up to host the much-anticipated season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has stated that the country is proud of its relationship with India. On Sunday, the IPL Governing Council confirmed UAE as the venue for this year’s IPL due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of now, the BCCI is waiting for the Indian government’s permission to shift the tournament outside the country.
Hosting the IPL in India was BCCI’s first priority but they are compelled to move to UAE because of the alarming coronavirus situation in the country. UAE had previously expressed their desire of hosting the tournament. Along with UAE, Sri Lanka had also given BCCI the offer to host IPL 2020. However, the BCCI eventually picked UAE as the venue for the cash-rich tournament.
Ahead of hosting this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), the government in UAE and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have said they consider BCCI’s decision ‘a very big and an exceptionally important move’. The thirteenth edition of the tournament is scheduled to be played in the UAE as the BCCI awaits the clearance from the Indian government.
Earlier, the ECB as well as Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had expressed their desire of hosting the IPL as the coronavirus situation in India kept deteriorating. The BCCI eventually picked UAE as the venue for the IPL 2020. The much-anticipated season will start from September 19 and end on November 10, the IPL Governing Council announced on Sunday.
ECB are absolutely delighted with the BCCI’s decision of conducting the IPL in India. And ahead of the tournament, Khalid Al Zarooni, the vice-chairman of the ECB, has opened up on the relationship between India and UAE. Al Zarooni said that the relationship between the two countries is great and UAE are proud of that.
“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,” he told The Times of India.
UAE is not new to hosting IPL. In 2014, they had hosted the initial phase of the competition due to the general elections in India. However, hosting the tournament during a pandemic is a very different as well as difficult task. UAE is expecting an influx of visitors in excess of 1400 for IPL 2020. But Al Zarooni made it clear the country is ready for that.
“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,” he said.