Zaheer Abbas has given his opinion on why the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has shifted the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League from India to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The IPL 2020 will be held entirely in the Gulf. Meanwhile, it will also be the third time that the cash-rich tournament will be held outside India.
While speaking to Khaleej Times, Zaheer Abbas went on to say that every country likes to play T20 matches to make money. Justifying further, he said he means every country and not just India because there is so much money involved in these tournaments these days.
The former Pakistani cricketer then mentioned that the cricket boards have so many commitments which they have to fulfill. Furthermore, talking about the recently concluded Test series between England and West Indies and the upcoming bilateral series between England and Pakistan, Abbas added that the players were in quarantine for some time and that England-Windies series was played in absence of the crowd.
With the ICC T20 World Cup being postponed. sources have confirmed that the much-anticipated IPL 2020 is all set to begin on September 19 in the UAE. The 13th edition of the cash-rich tournament, which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held till November 8. The franchises will travel to the Middle-Eastern country 25 days before the first match to enter the bio-secure bubble.
The seventh season of the IPL, in 2014, was held in UAE where the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) emerged as champions. A part of the tournament was held outside India due to the 2014 General elections being held at the same time. This will be the third time the IPL will be hosted outside the country. The 2009 edition was entirely held in South Africa due to the 2009 General Elections. The tournament was won by the now-defunct Deccan Chargers who had beaten the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a low-scoring thriller.
Despite keeping its options open, board President Sourav Ganguly has stated that staging the tournament in India is a priority. However, UAE has emerged as a likely venue for the 13th edition of the IPL. Reports have also suggested that the board has considered Mumbai-Pune as an alternative venue to stage the entire league considering the infrastructure.