BCCI Rejected Proposal from IPL GC to Play in UAE: Report

The IPL GC headed by Brijesh Patel were worried about the breakout of the second wave of the virus in India.

3 min read
Vivo IPL Trophy at the IPL Player Auction. 

Considered to be among the safest places even as the second wave of COVID-19 enveloped India, the IPL faces an up-hill task after players from KKR and non-playing members of CSK tested positive in Ahmedabad and New Delhi.

However, all of this could have been avoided had the BCCI taken up the IPL Governing Council’s proposal, reported Times of India.

The IPL GC reportedly proposed that the tournament be shifted to the UAE, a week before the opening day on 9 April. The IPL GC headed by Brijesh Patel were worried about the breakout of the second wave of the virus in India.

At least 4 IPL teams too had pushed for IPL 2021 to be shifted to UAE. But the BCCI didn’t pay heed to the proposal despite the fact that IPL 2020 was conducted flawlessly.

“UAE was always the first choice of the IPL GC for this year’s tournament. Even a week before the start of IPL, they asked BCCI to move the entire event to the UAE. Emirates Cricket Board was also put on immediate alert and they were willing to conduct IPL again even if BCCI decided to shift the tournament in such short notice. But nobody in the BCCI showed the urgency to take the step. The officials kept waiting for each other to make the first move and eventually the proposal was shot down,” the Times of India quoted sources.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah and treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal were also part of the IPL GC.

“The Board got an enormous confidence boost after conducting the Test, T20I and ODI series against England at three venues smoothly. The IPL though was a far bigger challenge with more teams, personnel and venues at play but the BCCI felt that it had the infrastructure to pull it off. However, they couldn’t anticipate that the situation would worsen so much in the next 20-odd days from the start of IPL. It is extremely unfortunate and the BCCI is taking extreme precautions now so that things don’t get aggravated hereon,” the BCCI source said.

An IPL franchise source said that they knew about the GC proposal. “In hindsight, it should have been the right thing to do. The biggest flaw in this year’s IPL is the travel arrangements. In the UAE we were travelling to and fro our bases and were cooped up in the same hotel. There was a routine. Here, we are changing cities, we don’t whether the pilots and flight attendants have quarantined or not, the food quality on flights, etc. The caravan idea just doesn’t work,” the report added said.

In the final week of April, Australian Adam Zampa was one of the players who exited the tournament and said that the IPL should have been held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as it was last year. Along with him, Kane Richardson (Australia and RCB), R Ashwin (India and DC), Andre Tye (Australia and RR) and Liam Livingstone (England and RR) had exited the tournament.

"I just feel like because it's India, we're always being told about the hygiene over here and being extra careful ... I just felt like it was the most vulnerable. The IPL that was held in Dubai six months ago didn't feel that way at all. I felt like that was extremely safe. Personally, I feel like that would have been a better option originally for this IPL but obviously, there's a lot of political stuff that goes into it," said Zampa.

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