NEW DELHI: The BCCI brass is exploring the option of using the full window of Indian Premier League by pushing the final back to October 15 in order to reduce the number of double headers in the UAE’s searing September heat.
As PTI had first reported, the tournament will start on Sunday, September 19 and while the final was tentatively planned for October 10, the BCCI as well as the Emirates Cricket Board are mulling stretching the lucrative T20 event till October 15.
“September 15 to October 15 is the window. Initially, BCCI was thinking of having 10 double headers. But, in third and fourth week of September, having 10 afternoon matches can be physically exhausting for player in such short window,” a BCCI source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
“So if October 15, which is a Friday is zeroed in on, it’s basically start of weekend in India and in Dubai, it’s a holiday which will allow fans to come in and enjoy a high-profile game of cricket. It serves dual purpose. Also, the number of double headers could be reduced to five or six, instead of 10,” the source said. Currently, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, vice-president Rajiv Shukla, acting CEO Hemang Amin, treasurer Arun Dhumal, joint secretary Jayesh George and IPL chairman Brijesh Patel are in the UAE to finalise the arrangements.
Secretary Jay Shah is back in India after a series of meetings with the Emirates Cricket Board officials and a recce of the venues.
The Indian team’s last Test in England is in Manchester and if it goes the distance, then it will finish on September 14. The next day, the Indian contingent of IPL players will be flown via a charter flight from Manchester to Dubai.
They might have to undergo a three-day hard quarantine in the UAE but that could be waived off since they will be entering from the UK bio-bubble.