Dubai: A day after the Governing Council of Indian Premier League (IPL) finalised their dates of the 13th edition in the UAE, the three venues quietly got into the business of giving a facelift to their venues for nearly two-month long showpiece from September 19-November 10.
The management of the venues in the UAE - Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah went into a huddle with their preparations all along Monday even as the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is waiting to hear from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about the formal clearance from the government so that they could table it before the UAE authorities.
The letter of intent, sent by the Indian board to ECB, stated their plans to host the tournament here while the IPL press release late on Sunday maintained the matches will be played ‘‘subject to necessary clearances from the Government of India.’’ Sources in the know of things say that it’s only the clearance from the Home Ministry which is pending as the ones from the Ministry of External Affairs as well as Sports have come though.
Interestingly, the venues and the ECB have received proposals from the UK-based company which handled the bio-secure cover in England for the two Test series against the West Indies and now Pakistan. The presentation reportedly lays down a blueprint to secure the stadia to minute details.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has deferred a meeting with the franchises as well as broadcasters scheduled for Monday to a later date, while advising them to go ahead with their visa formalities.
Their directive on Sunday to all franchises that no team can leave for the UAE before August 20 has apparently not gone down well as some of them were planning to jet into the UAE for staging camps earlier. Both Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians could be looking to leave for Abu Dhabi around August 10 or 12, but they will have to keep it for later now.
“We have been informed by a mail from the IPL GC that we can leave for UAE after August 20. So, there is no question of anyone going there before that. The diktat is pretty clear here,” the a franchise official told media.
While the BCCI issued the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to the state associations for the resumption of cricket on Sunday, the IPL teams are expecting the same soon. “We have not got the SOPs yet, but we have been given the go-ahead to start preparation and the visa process will start from tomorrow onwards. The hotels have already been blocked so that is no issue. The blueprints are ready,” the franchise official said.