The Board of Control for Cricket in India has reportedly finalised on the United Arab Emirates as the host country for this year's Indian Premier League.
The cash-rich tournament, which has been indefinitely postponed owing to the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to be held from September till the first week of November.
The prospects of the IPL taking place this year have been boosted by the postponement of the T20 World Cup that was set to run from October-November.
Despite the prevailing coronavirus crisis, the BCCI is confident of assembling star-studded line-ups for the cricketing fiesta abroad. This will be the second time that the UAE will be hosting the event as a part of the 2014 IPL was staged in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi due to the clash with India's general elections.
"It will be held in the UAE but first the board will seek permission from the Indian government to stage it there," IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told AFP.
Although Patel added that exact dates for IPL 2020 are still being discussed, several media outlets have predicted it would run from September 26 to November 7.
The scale of the Covid-19 pandemic has not spiralled out of control in the UAE with the country currently harbouring more than 7,000 active cases. Hence, the decision on a possible limited entry to stadiums for fans or behind-closed-doors games will be made by the organisers in due course.
The BCCI had been pushing for the IPL in some form in 2020 given the immense value it holds in terms of being a major source of revenue for the board.
Losses exceeding the towering figure of $500 million had been warned in the worst-case scenario of the cancellation of IPL 13.
Nevertheless, the BCCI had to wait until the International Cricket Council formally postponed the T20 World Cup in Australia before ramping up their efforts for salvaging the IPL.
The global T20 competition has been delayed to 2021 with the subsequent edition scheduled for 2022, though the host countries for each event are yet to be finalised.
Cricket Australia bemoaned the logistical challenges and risks involved in keeping 16 playing squads in bio-secure facilities for an extended period of time, which led to their decision to postpone the World Cup.
The IPL was originally supposed to begin on March 29 and has traditionally featured packed stadiums across India.
This year, the dynamics will be entirely different considering the shift of venue as the virus outbreak in India has reached catastrophic levels.