India news June 18, 2014

UAE could be considered as CLT20 venue - Gavaskar

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sunil Gavaskar, BCCI's president for the IPL, has said that the United Arab Emirates could be considered as a venue for the Champions League Twenty20, scheduled to be held later this year. The UAE had hosted one leg of IPL 2014 in April due to general elections in India and Gavaskar said factors like weather and the host broadcaster's preferences could influence the board's decision on the Champions League venue. A final decision on the issue will have to be taken within four weeks.

"[It is] certainly a possibility because there are two aspects at the back of the BCCI's mind," Gavaskar, who was given a life membership at the Els Club in Dubai Sports City, said. "The first is the weather in India at that stage, because it will be monsoon-ish still and the monsoon will be tapering off and you know don't want to have matches washed out. That will be one at the back of their mind. And the fact that you know at that particular time there will be a lot of people wanting to come to Dubai.

"So I guess, you know, those are the factors that will certainly come into play. Eventually the decision will depend on the host broadcaster, and what he feels about it because timings sometimes can make a difference so I think all those factors have certainly to be sorted out within the next four weeks or so."

Gavaskar also said the BCCI could consider scheduling an India tour to the UAE, given the quality of facilities. The Indian federal government had banned the national team from playing in Sharjah for three years in 2001 following the match-fixing scandal. The BCCI has also maintained an unwritten rule that Indian teams would not play in the UAE. However, following assurances from the UAE government and cricket officials in the country, the board decided to conduct a part of the IPL there.

"I think now that we've had an opening through the IPL, I think certainly that is something that the BCCI will definitely consider," he said. "Because they have seen what the facilities on offer are and when you talk about facilities you are not only talking about on-field playing facilities, you are talking of practice facilities, which are so important when you need to prepare for the match. Those were actually world-class as well and that has made a huge impact on the authorities in India.

"As soon as there is window available, India will be looking to come down. Whether it is to play Pakistan or whether it is to play some triangular tournament, I'm not too sure but India will be looking for that window to come back here."

In March, Gavaskar was asked by the Supreme Court to head the BCCI for the duration of the IPL, after the court asked N Srinivasan to step down as BCCI president until investigations into the allegations of corruption in IPL 2013 were complete. With the IPL over, Gavaskar said he had written to the court over his future role in the BCCI.

"Well, at the moment, I am a little bit unsure," he said. "When the appointment when first came through from the honorable Supreme Court, it was pretty sure it was till the end of the IPL. In the middle also, there was a hearing where the honorable court said that I should carry on till further orders. So I have just written to them and I will know in the next few days whether my role is over or whether I still continue. So at the moment, I am little bit in the dark about it."

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