The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has received the Indian government's approval to hold this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel said on Monday, August 10.
"Yes, we have received the government approval. We have already released the SOP (standard operating procedure). They have to follow that. We will also be having a committee (to supervise it)," Patel told The Indian Express, adding that the BCCI would work in tandem with the IPL franchises to make the bio-security arrangements.
As India continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi from September 19 to November 10.
"Once we had the verbal okay from the government, we had intimated the Emirates Cricket Board. Now we have the papers also, so franchises can be intimated that everything is in order," a veteran BCCI official told PTI.
At present, the BCCI's priority is to find a replacement sponsor following the suspension of the IPL's title sponsorship contract with Vivo. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer had secured the 2018-2022 rights for nearly $293 million, but had pulled out of this year's edition citing a weak business environment amid the pandemic.
"We will issue an Expression of Interest (EOI), which will be coming today or tomorrow," Patel said.
In a statement, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said that companies with a minimum turnover of about $40 million can send expressions of interest by Friday.
Meanwhile, Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved Ltd is considering bidding for the title sponsorship of IPL 2020. Patanjali spokesperson S.K. Tijarawala said the company wants to contribute towards the Centre's 'Vocal For Local' initiative, by showcasing an Indian brand at a worldwide recognized platform.