The Test series between India and England early next year and the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) could take place in UAE as the BCCI has signed an agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to “boost cricketing ties” between the two boards.
On Saturday, BCCI secretary Jay Shah posted a tweet announcing that BCCI has signed a ‘hosting agreement’ with the ECB to “boost cricketing ties between the two countries”. Shah signed the agreement at a meeting with ECB vice-chairman Khalid Al Zarooni. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and treasurer Arun Dhumal were also present at the meeting.
— Jay Shah (@JayShah) September 19, 2020
The current situation of coronavirus in India is showing minimal signs of improvement. With over 54 lakh cases as on Saturday, India is second only to the USA in terms of the number of infections and has experienced a significant spike in COVID-19 cases over the last fortnight.
As per media reports, this was the primary reason behind a brief and preliminary discussion taking place between the two boards. The BCCI is believed to have raised the prospect of making the UAE as a venue for the India-England series, currently scheduled for January-February next year.
In the original FTP, the white-ball leg of the tour was scheduled for October this year, before India scheduled their tour for Australia. Later they returned to host the five-match Test series against England in February 2021. The limited-overs series was officially postponed last month, and it is now expected that they will only play the Tests now. And if things don’t improve, the IPL could also be hosted in UAE next year.
The relation between the two boards is on the rise in recent years. UAE had earlier hosted few games of IPL in 2014 due to the general elections in India. In 2018, the BCCI had moved the Asia Cup to the gulf nation.