According to sources, the board is open to hosting the tournament in UAE where it organized the tournament successfully last year. “A call on the venue is likely to be taken after the mini auction on Feb 18. BCCI is looking at all options. Hosting the IPL in India is always the priority but the logistics need to be checked. UAE is still an option since the logistics are more or less in place there. BCCI had also signed an MoU and hosting agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board in September,” a senior BCCI official told TOI.
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BCCI is keen to have fans back in the stadiums and the priority is to conduct the tournament across India. The board will be in a position to make a call depending on how the Covid pandemic situation pans out over the next month. If the protocols remain strict then the board will go for creating a bubble in one city with at least three stadiums. In that case, UAE could be logistically a better option even for the broadcasters too.
As for the franchises, going into the auction without a clear idea about the venue is tricky. “Franchises have historically picked squads based on the conditions they are going to play in. As of now, nothing has been ruled out. UAE is still very much an option. BCCI is yet to communicate with the franchises about the venues,” a senior franchise official told TOI.