The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League is all set to be shifted to the United Arab Emirates. In the meantime, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering holding a few international matches before the T20 tournament in the Middle East as well.
The BCCI is in talks with Cricket South Africa (CSA) to organize a three-match T20I series in UAE. But these matches will not be the part of ICC’s original Future Tours Program (FTP). Indian and South Africa were scheduled to play a three-match T20 series in March this year but the onset of COVID-19 pandemic forced for the series to be ended prematurely.
As per reports, BCCI is looking at a September 26 to November 8 window to host IPL 2020, but in a Mumbai Mirror report, it was mentioned that the host broadcasters STAR isn’t very happy to forego the Diwali (November 14) weekend.
The BCCI could a with South Africa before the IPL for STAR
To deal with the upset broadcasters, BCCI is in talks with STAR to hold a series against South Africa. Board is also planning to begin the IPL on September 19 instead of September 26 as a move to reduce evening matches, in line with STAR’s wishes.
But in the same Mumbai Mirror report, it was mentioned that IPL franchisees might not be thrilled with the idea of releasing their players so close to the IPL tournament. IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel told Mumbai Mirror that matter would be discussed soon
He said, “We will discuss everything at the GC (Governing Council) meeting.”
In a separate Times of India report, it was mentioned that the three-match T20 series between India and South Africa will act as a ‘catalyst’ for STAR as they are eyeing to get rights for Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) home broadcasting as well.
In May, there were rumours that India and South Africa are discussing to play the three T20Is in South Africa depending on the pandemic situation.
On Tuesday, it was confirmed by the IPL governing council chairman, Brijesh Patel that 13th edition of the tournament will be held in UAE due to the complicated situation rising due to COVID-19 in India. Yet the official announcement from the BCCI is not issued as the governing body is waiting for approval from the Indian government before the schedule can be finalized.
“We have written to the government and are hoping for a reply soon. We will then meet,” Brijesh Patel told the Mumbai Mirror.
He also confirmed that for IPL 2020, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will be the three main venues.