The official announcement might happen only after the Indian Premier League's Governing Council meets, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has joined the franchises in making logistical plans for the 13th edition of the cash-rich league to be played in the UAE.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI functionary in the know of developments said that the board is already in touch with the likes of Emirates and Etihad to check on their flight scheduling from August onwards as teams will look to head to the UAE by August end to prepare for the IPL.
"The concerned team from BCCI has touched base with the UAE airline officials from the likes of Emirates and Etihad to check how they are planning resumption of flights and if they are planning resumption of operations in Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata among others.
"Apart from the IPL teams, logistics and operations teams from the BCCI will also need to head to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah to see to it that preparations are on in full swing and there are no execution woes. The IPL is known for the excellence when it comes to operations and this year should be no different. If the UAE airlines don't start operations then obviously we will also look at chartered planes like some of the franchises," the functionary explained.
Asked about the hotels in the three cities, the functionary said that homework is being done by both the franchises as well as the BCCI and they will come together in the next few days to seal the deals.
"As of now, the franchises have zeroed in on their choices and we at the BCCI are doing our own checks. In the next few days we will zero in on the places to stay at and then coordinate with the franchises. Once we give them the BCCI options, they can discuss their own ones and come to a decision on which are the places they wish to stay in," the functionary pointed.
Asked why the BCCI comes into the picture when it comes to hotels, the functionary explained: "See, if a hotel costs you 10000 per night, the BCCI can get a deal of say 6000 and taxes. This is why coordinating through the board makes sense for the teams. The choice of hotels is theirs and the money is also theirs. We can only get them the best possible deal."
The ICC on Monday announced that the T20 World Cup cannot be held in Australia in October-November as the time isn't conducive to host so many teams in the country as the threat of the coronavirus pandemic isn't over yet. This has opened the door for the BCCI to host the IPL in that window.
While IPL 13 is expected to be played from September 26 to November 8, a final call will be taken once the green signal comes in from the Indian government.