The suspense over the Indian Premier League (IPL) venue for the tournament's seventh edition is finally over. It is learnt, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) top brass yesterday took a decision to shift the first half of the IPL matches to United Arab Emirates (UAE). The business end of the cash-rich T20 league would be held in India. (Note: Adjoining is an archive (2008) image of Dubai cricket stadium's stand. It is for representational purpose only.)
A final and detailed itenarary is likely to be declared in a couple of days. "The BCCI has got a security clearance from the union home ministry to hold the IPL matches in India after May 12 (the last day of voting). As a result, around 60 per cent of the matches would be played in UAE," a BCCI source told mid-day.
UAE emerged frontrunner after South Africa wanted to hold the full tournament. UAE also recently hosted the ICC U-19 World Cup.
The Board source revealed that three centres in the UAE would hold the IPL matches. "The BCCI has finalised Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi as the three venues," the source said.
It is learnt that the BCCI is mulling over hosting IPL matches at its main centres. Last year, the IPL was held at various small town venues as well. "Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi are sure. We may have some matches in Jaipur as well. All this will be worked out in a couple of days," said the source.