The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that it has now received official confirmation from the Indian government to proceed with the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates. The confirmation was provided by PL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel.
The BCCI has been working closely with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) for the last few weeks to hastily put together the 2020 IPL that will commence on Sep 19 and run till Nov 10. This will be the longest IPL edition in the 8 team format and will be spread across 53 days.
The BCCI was very confident that it would get the necessary approval from the Indian government.
This was expected because the BCCI has strong political ties to the ruling BJP central government. Jay Shah is the secretary of the BCCI and also the son of home minister Amit Shah.
The Times of India
Indian cricketers are expected to leave to the UAE before the end of August and will spend a couple of weeks in the UAE going through COVID-19 tests and then training for the IPL. Indian cricketers have not trained or had any net sessions since mid-March when India went into lockdown mode.
BCCI Frantic To Find Main Sponsor
The BCCI has been under a lot of pressure not only to organization the 2020 IPL at short notice but also to find a new main sponsor. The BCCI lost its main sponsor Vivo earlier this month after the Chinese company decided to pull out due to the pressure it was facing back home.
Political tensions between India and China have escalated this year and there was a call from the general public from both countries to cut business and sponsorship ties with each other. The BCCI reviewed their sponsorship with Vivo and decided that the deal was too lucrative to drop Vivo over political tensions. Vivo had signed a 5 year sponsorship deal in 2018 with the BCCI and was paying them 240 crore rupees per year.
However, Vivo decided to pull out much to the surprise of the BCCI. In normal circumstances, the BCCI would not have struggled to find another main sponsor. However, the BCCI is now frantic to find another sponsor before Sep 19 which is difficult given current market conditions caused by COVID-19.