The BCCI has received the much-awaited permission from the Indian government to conduct the IPL in the UAE. Brijesh Patel, the IPL Governing Council chairman, has confirmed the development.
Although the BCCI had received an in-principle nod from the government, it was waiting for written permission to finalise the contract with the Emirates Cricket Board. Patel did not confirm the exact date, indicating the government permission came over the weekend.
The tournament will be played between September 19 and November 10 with 60 matches at three venues: Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Although the tournament schedule has not yet been finalised, the eight teams have already been busy planning their travel to the UAE.
Last week the IPL sent the franchises a set of draft standing operating procedures [SOPs] for the tournament including a rigorous testing process which commences before the teams board the flight to the UAE. Team members would need to undergo multiple tests including three tests upon reaching the UAE which would also involve a week-long quarantine before they can start training.
The IPL made it clear that both team members as well as owners would need to strictly adhere to the rules laid out to be part of the biosecure bubble. Any breach of the protocols, the IPL warned, would be "punishable" under the tournament's code of conduct.
According to the draft SOPs, if the owners and family members step outside the bubble, they will need to understood a week-long quarantine and undergo fresh testing before re-entering the biosecure environment.
During a virtual meeting last week, officials from various franchises communicated a set of concerns they had with the draft SOPs. One key concern was whether the quarantine measures could be relaxed for English and Australian players arriving from the UK after their limited overs series.