IPL 2014 news March 12, 2014

IPL starts in UAE on April 16, ends in India on June 1


The IPL will start on April 16 in the UAE and is likely to be held in three phases across three countries, ending in India on June 1. A detailed schedule of dates and venues is yet to be finalised but an IPL announcement said that the first 16 matches would be held in the UAE from April 16 followed by a set of matches between May 1 and 12 to be held in either Bangladesh or, the Indian Home Ministry permitting, in India.

The announcement brought to an end a long period of speculation over the final venue. The problem arose because the tournament dates coincided with the Indian elections, scheduled from April 7 to May 12, and brought security and related issues. At the end of the players' auction in Bangalore in February, senior IPL officials had stated that the primary objective was always to hold the maximum number of matches in India. But the Indian Home Ministry made it clear that it would not be possible to provide the required security for the tournament during the elections.

However, the BCCI presented the Indian government with an alternative plan in which the tournament would return to India in early May, by when seven of the nine polling dates would have passed. The board's statement said it had approached the federal Ministry of Home Affairs for permission to play IPL matches in India from May 1-12 in cities where the polling has concluded. "If it is not possible to play in India during this period, IPL matches will be held in Bangladesh," the statement said.

If the board's request is accepted, the tournament will return to India after the UAE leg and remain there till the final. There will be no matches on May 16, the day set aside for counting of all the votes in the election.

The idea is to take minimum number of matches abroad. We want to hold at least 40 matches in 30 days. From April 16 to 30 we have to go out. Our primary objective has been to play as many matches as possible in India. Now it is clear that we will have to be out for at least two weeks," a BCCI official told ESPNCricinfo.

Immediately after the auction Ranjib Biswal, the IPL chairman, along with the BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, had announced that South Africa would be the first choice in case the tournament were to be displaced overseas. However the BCCI official said that South Africa posed a lot of challenges in case the tournament had to be shifted only for a couple of weeks. "It is not feasible to go to South Africa for about 15-odd days because you also need to give a break of minimum three days due to logistics and travel. So a better alternative is hold the tournament in either UAE or Bangladesh," the officials said.

Asked why UAE was picked as the venue for the first set of matches, Biswal said Bangladesh would not be ready in April, having hosted two back-to-back multi-team tournaments. "Bangladesh has just finished hosting the Asia Cup and will now be busy till the first week of April with the World T20. So the pitches would be weary," Biswal said.

Incidentally, at the end of the auction in February, it is understood the BCCI president N Srinivasan sought the opinion from all the franchises on hosting matches in the UAE. Most franchises were happy especially due to the Gulf nation's proximity to India, but a few did check on the perception of the match-fixing cloud still around the UAE. But Biswal said that the IPL had done a through recce of the venues at UAE and got assurances.

"The government of UAE has given us assurances that they would be giving us adequate facilities, including security during the tournament," Biswal said.

The UAE had been a popular venue for Indian cricket in the '80s and '90s but the Indian national team has generally avoided playing in the UAE since the match-fixing scandal of 2000. India have featured in only two ODIs there in the past decade.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2014, 10:26 GMT

    when they will release IPL schedule we are exciting to see the IPL schedule

  • Channan on March 14, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Let's see what the crowds will be like in UAE. From what I see on TV the grounds in UAE appear to be MUD tracks. I thought cricket at this level was supposed to be played on TURF wickets. But UAE is where the rich lives and I guess that is all that was important in making the final decision.

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2014, 1:38 GMT

    @MZM 149.......very sour grapes...!!!

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2014, 1:32 GMT

    @Charlie...have some tea. BTW, 49ers are not going to win next year either. We will make sure that....go hawks!!!!!

  • Android on March 13, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    Franchise cricket is going to be the future. The number of teams should be increased to atleast 20 and should be a year long event like in football. Indian fans would prefer this over seeing the national team walloped time and again abroad.

  • Dummy4 on March 13, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    For this IPL-7 Surprising and Lucky that the Cricket Game FIRST LEG which will be the First and Fresh Taste will be holed by WE United Arab Emirates. Hip Hip Hooray. Then the IPL-7 Cricket Game MIDDLE LEG which will be Tasted by the Minnows of Cricket Bangla Desh. Trust if I am a Bangla Deshi Spectator, I will certainly wont go and watch IPL, Why Bcos Bangla Deshi's are not aware of Indian's or India's Local Cricketers and so much so there is only One Cricketer from Bangal Desh Shakib Al Hassan features in IPL, rest of the Bangla Deshi Cricketers will applaud or not which is to be seen. And the LAST LEG of the IPL-7,which will be tasted by WE-Indians, surely will be STALE, certainly not be the Taste as a Cricketer or a Spectator I think. Certainly IPL-7 will be greatest Loss Set-Back for BCCI, I Feel.

  • Dummy4 on March 13, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Isn't it hypocrisy of BCCI not to play International matches in UAE and no hesitation conducting IPL for their own benefit !!!!

  • a on March 13, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Excellent. Now the UAE will also get an opportunity to watch the Chennai Super Kings Live!

  • cpur on March 13, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    Yeah -- Bangladesh matches - 1 may to 12 may will be base on huge supporters. world will be seen how the huge supporters coming around the 64 districts of Bangladesh.

  • Dummy4 on March 13, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    Very excited to see IPL is coming in UAE... MI is gonna rock.

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