In the July 17 video-conferencing, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Apex Council discussed on the location for India’s five-week training camp. In the contest, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the leading contender.
During the meet, the apex council also decided that apart from the UAE, Dharamsala or Ahmedabad could also be the training camp venue for the Indian cricketers. Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in March, most of the domestic cricketers have been under isolation.
The UAE is one of the contenders for the venues because the postponed Indian Premier League 13 is most likely to take place in the Arabian country from September 26 to November 6.
While the Apex Council has discussed the matter in the virtual meeting, the final decision is yet to be made by the IPL Governing Council.
In a statement to the news agency PTI, a BCCI official said, “If the IPL is held in the UAE, then it only makes sense that the Indian cricketers train there before the tournament. They have a good infrastructure in place. UAE is the most likely choice for the IPL with India getting increasingly unsafe (due to COVID-19).”
“The other likely options are training camp in either Dharamsala or Ahmedabad (at the renovated Motera Stadium) with a bio-bubble in place. But the cases continue to increase in India, so UAE will be the safest option,” the official added.
Sri Lanka and New Zealand were also considered as venues for IPL by the BCCI.
The UAE is weighed over Sri Lanka and New Zealand by the BCCI because the Emirates happens to be the major airline hub. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are well-connected with flights from all over the world. Players and fans from countries like the United Kingdom, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa can readily come to the UAE.
The exact schedule for the IPL 13 can be expected by the next week when the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board meets on Monday to discuss on the schedule of the T20 World Cup 2020 that is slated to be held in Australia.
Another major topic discussed during the Apex Council meeting was how to initiate domestic cricket once the coronavirus lockdown eases in the country. The BCCI is expecting to kickstart the game from mid-December. Usually, the season begins from September, but the three months delay would mean the board has to drop some tournaments.