Abu Dhabi: The UAE has emerged as the front runner to host IPL 2014, Gulf News has learned.

India’s general election in April has forced the IPL governing council and team representatives to find an alternative venue due to fears over security, according to a BCCI insider.

The Indian cricket board’s backup plan featured four countries — the UAE, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Bangladesh.

The latter two were the initial favourites but it now seems the BCCI is zeroing in on the UAE and Bangladesh, with matches expected to be held in both countries.

David East, CEO of Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Cricket Club, declined to comment when asked to confirm the BCCI’s decision.

“I wouldn’t like to confirm or comment on this at the moment,” he said.

One of the main reasons for choosing the UAE and Bangladesh is to keep team expenses to a minimum after concerns were raised during a meeting in Singapore late last year.

Both IPL officials and team representatives were dead against the IPL being played out of India for the second time, after South Africa hosted the 2009 tournament.

But fears the Indian government could refuse to provide security personnel would make the switch unavoidable.

If everything fell into place it would be a huge boost for cricket in the UAE.