New Delhi : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made it clear to all the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises that no team can leave for the UAE before August 20. There were reports that both Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians could be looking to leave for Abu Dhabi around August 10 or 12. But those plans need to be put on hold as of now.
A franchise official said that the IPL Governing Council has sent in a mail which has clearly told them that the teams can leave for UAE not before August 20.
"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 official said.
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. But they are starting the visa process from Monday.
"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.
The BCCI is optimistic of getting the complete go-ahead from the government in the coming week to move the tournament to UAE. "The BCCI has received clearance from the Sports Ministry and we are hopeful of a positive response from the other departments quite soon as well," said a BCCI official on Saturday.
As for the SOPs, the BCCI in a release said: "The Governing Council also discussed the comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures, which will be finalised and published in due course, including the agencies to execute and deliver a bio-secure environment for safe and successful conduct of IPL 2020 Season."
[ This was first published in IANS ]